China's trade with BRI economies rises 7.4% in Jan-Jul: customs authorities

2023-08-08 15:28:53Global Times Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

In the first seven months this year, China’s foreign trade with countries along the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) reached 8.06 trillion yuan ($1.12 trillion), an increase of 7.4 percent year-on-year, data from the General Administration of Customs (GAC) showed on Tuesday.

As the BRI embraces its 10th anniversary this year, experts said that the initiative has brought tangible benefits to countries along the route from infrastructure construction to enhanced cooperation in new energy and green development, providing a new model of co-development.

Trade with BRI countries grew faster than the overall growth rate. According to the GAC, China's foreign trade grew by 0.4 percent year-on-year in the first seven months of the year to reach 23.55 trillion yuan.

China-Europe freight trains, which have become a pillar for the trade for countries along the Belt and Road, have also eyed a rapid growth since the beginning of this year.

As of July 29, China-Europe freight trains made 10,000 trips, 22 days earlier than last year, carrying more than 1.08 million 20-foot equivalent unit (TEU) containers of goods, up 27 percent, data from China State Railway Group showed.

The New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor is also one of the key projects under the BRI. Launched in 2017, it's a trade and logistics passage that was jointly built by provincial-level regions in western China and ASEAN members.

In the first half of this year, the number of cross-border rail-sea intermodal trains reached 4,510, up 9 percent year-on-year. International railroad trains totaled 4,091, an increase of 18.51 percent, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

Southeast Asian specialties such as Lao sticky rice, Thai durian, Vietnamese balsa fish and Cambodian bananas also enter the Chinese market more quickly along the corridor.

From 2013 to 2022, China’s trade with countries along the BRI doubled from $1.04 trillion to $2.07 trillion, with an average annual growth rate of 8 percent.

By the end of 2022, the cumulative investment in overseas economic and trade cooperation zones built by Chinese enterprises in countries along the route amounted to $57.13 billion, creating 421,000 local jobs.

According to a report by the World Bank, benefiting from the BRI, the GDP share of emerging and developing economies increased 3.6 percentage points from 2012 to 2021. The World Bank estimates that by 2030, the BRI will generate annual benefits of $1.6 trillion for the world, accounting for 1.3 percent of global GDP. A total of 7.6 million people will be lifted out of absolute poverty in 2015-2030, and 32 million people will be lifted out of moderate poverty as a result.


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