Business / Economy

Rizhao maps expansion of transport links

By Zhao Ruixue (China Daily) Updated: 2015-06-18 09:25

Boosted by the Belt and Road Initiative, total foreign trade between Rizhao and countries along both routes reached $7.66 billion in value last year, an increase of 13.7 percent on 2013, and now accounts for nearly a quarter of the city's entire foreign trade.

Twenty-nine companies from those five core partner-countries have built facilities in Rizhao worth a combined investment of $1.05 billion, representing 23.1 percent of the city's total foreign investment.

Yang Jun predicts the Belt and Road Initiative will bring a lot more foreign enterprises to the city, too, as more facilities are built to boost its international connectivity. Rizhao airport, meanwhile, is scheduled to come into service by the end of the year.

The local government is encouraging more Rizhao-based business to open branches in other Central Asian countries as part of the overall expansion.

Wuzheng Group, a local manufacturer of motor tricycles and other agricultural vehicles, has sold 3,000 vehicles in Central Asian countries, said Jiang Weidong, its president, and plans to open a branch in Turkmenistan.

"We will not only sell more vehicles, but bring our technologies to countries to help develop agriculture there," said Jiang.

Yang said Rizhao is also promoting cultural exchanges between the city and countries along the revitalized ancient trade routes.

"Just as the city was the starting point of the ancient trade route to the west, Rizhao will also become a modern tourism spot along the New Silk Road," said Yang.

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