|Chinese trade with Belt and Road countries up in 2018|
|Author: CSEBA / SEEbiz|
|29th January 2019|
|BEIJING - China’s trade with countries covered by the Belt and Road initiative continued to increase faster than its overall foreign trade last year, official data showed on Thursday.|
The total value of trade between China and Belt and Road countries stood at US$1.3tn in 2018, an increase of 16.3 percent from the previous year, China’s Ministry of Commerce said. This was 3.7 percentage points higher than the country’s overall trade growth during the same period.
China’s exports to Belt and Road countries increased 10.9 percent year-on-year to US$704.73bn, while imports from this group of countries rose 23.9 percent to US$563.07bn.
The Belt and Road initiative was proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping five years ago to boost infrastructure investment and China’s trade links with 85 countries in Asia, Europe, Africa and South America. Given Xi’s backing, Beijing has encouraged Chinese companies to do business with and invest in countries covered by the initiative.
Chinese companies made investments worth US$15.65bn in 56 Belt and Road countries last year, up 8.9 percent year-on-year, while investment flowing in the other direction increased 11.9 percent to US$6.08bn, according to the commerce ministry.
Gao Feng, the ministry’s spokesperson, said China would open its markets further to Belt and Road countries and promote trade and investments in the region.
China will host the second international Belt and Road Forum in April, with representatives from government, international organisations and businesses expected to attend.
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