The foreign trade volume of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region soared 80.3 percent year on year to 68.07 billion yuan (about 10 billion U.S. dollars) in the first quarter of this year.
According to the Urumqi customs, Xinjiang's trading partners have become more diversified. During the period, the region's trade with five Central Asian countries -- Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan -- totaled 53.18 billion yuan, up 84.5 percent year on year.
Xinjiang's trade with countries along the Belt and Road totaled 61.88 billion yuan, up 77.4 percent year on year, and its trade with other Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) members came in at 2.83 billion yuan, up 16.6 percent. The region's trade with the European Union hit 1.85 billion yuan, up 54.4 percent.
He Guoqing, deputy director of the region's commerce department, said that since the beginning of this year, Xinjiang has steadily promoted the resumption of passenger and direct freight traffic at 11 highway ports. In the first three months, the total export freight volume of the highway ports was 997,000 tonnes, up 105.9 percent year on year, and the volume of goods imported at the land ports totaled 670,000 tonnes, up 152.1 percent.
Thanks to the smooth operation of port freight traffic, Xinjiang's small-scale border trade totaled 41.39 billion yuan in the first quarter, accounting for 51 percent of China's total small-scale border trade.
During the period, Xinjiang's cross-border e-commerce trade grew 2.4 times. With a total trade value of 3.35 billion yuan, the cross-border e-commerce sector accounted for more than one-tenth of the region's overall foreign trade growth, according to the regional commerce department.