Business / Economy

Belt and Road nations account for 26% of China's total trade

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-04-29 09:47

BEIJING - Trade with countries along the Belt and Road, a China-proposed initiative to enhance international connections, amounted to $236 billion in the first quarter of 2015.

This translates to 26 percent of China's total exports and imports during the period.

In the same quarter, exports to Belt and Road nations increased 10 percent year on year to $144.5 billion, outpacing a general 4.6 percent growth in exports during the period.

The volume accounted for 28 percent of China's total exports, Shen Danyang, spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce, said at a press conference held in Beijing.

Meanwhile, imports from these countries hit $91.5 billion, accounting for 23.4 percent of China's total imports, Shen said.

The government has not identified all nations included under the Belt and Road, but so far as many as 60 have voiced support and interest in the initiative.

During the first quarter, non-financial investment into these countries stood at $2.56 billion, accounting for 10 percent of its total overseas investment. Singapore, India and Laos were the top three destinations for investment.

Outbound investment compared to $1.68 billion in foreign direct investment from these countries, with investment from Mongolia and Russia more than doubling, Shen said.

Currently, China is engaged in the joint construction of 70 cooperative zones with these nations,, through projects such as the construction of industrial parks, with companies having invested more than $8 billion, Shen said.

According to him, these zones are expected to realize an annual output of at least $20 billion, and provide up to 200,000 jobs.

The official said that cooperation with Thailand on the Thai-Chinese Rayong Industrial Zone had created more than 3,000 jobs for locals.

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