China says its trade ties with countries along Belt and Road have strengthened since pandemic

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China says its trade ties with countries along Belt and Road have strengthened since pandemic

On November 25th, a girder erection machine from China Tiesiju Civil Engineering Group is used by builders from China Tiesiju Civil Engineering Group to lift a box girder on an 84 meter long steel truss bridge on the Jakarta-Bandung High-speed Railway in Indonesia. The Jakarta-Bandung HSR, built jointly by China and Indonesia, is a landmark project of the Belt and Road Initiative, as well as a national strategic project in Indonesia. BEIJING -- China's economic and trade ties with countries along the Belt and Road have strengthened significantly over the past decade, an official said Friday.

Despite the protracted COVID 19 pandemic and complicated international situation, the building of the Belt and Road Initiative continues to show strong resilience and vitality, injecting strong impetus into global openness and cooperation and world economic recovery, said Sheng Qiuping, vice-minister of commerce.

From 2013 to 2021, the annual trade volume between China and countries along the Belt and Road increased from $1.04 trillion to $1.8 trillion, an increase of 73 percent, Sheng said.

During this time, China's direct investment in countries along the Belt and Road totaled 161.3 billion dollars, while 32,000 enterprises were established in China by these countries, with a combined investment of 71.2 billion dollars, Sheng said.

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China signed new contracts worth 1.08 trillion dollars with countries along the Belt and Road in the period for engineering projects in transportation, electricity, and other areas, he said.

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In the first four months of this year, China's imports and exports with countries along the Belt and Road increased 15.4 percent year-on-year to 3.97 trillion yuan, about $588 billion 7.5 percentage points higher than the overall growth of China's foreign trade, said Wang Lingjun, deputy head of the General Administration of Customs.