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China pledges to expand trade with BRI-related economies

By Zhong Nan | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-03-02 17:22

A freight train runs on the China-Laos Railway. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

The scale of foreign trade and investment between China and other economies participating in the Belt and Road Initiative has steadily expanded between 2013 and 2022, with strengthened infrastructure connectivity and improved cooperation in supply chains, said a senior government official.

With an average annual growth rate of 8 percent, China's goods trade volume with countries and regions involved in the BRI doubled from $1.04 trillion (7.17 trillion yuan) in 2013 to $2.07 trillion in 2022, while bilateral investment between China and these economies exceeded $270 billion, Chen Chunjiang, Assistant Minister of commerce told a news conference in Beijing.

Chinese companies have invested a total of $57.13 billion in BRI-related economic and trade cooperation zones in various overseas locations, creating 421,000 jobs for local communities, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

Pledging to further expand trade and cooperation with BRI-related economies, Chen said China will optimize its trade structures and increase the imports of high-quality goods from these countries and regions.

"The government will deepen its involvement in international industrial cooperation and optimize two-way investment structures. China aims to promote the signing of free trade agreements with more countries and accelerate the development of building a free trade zone network covering the entire BRI-related region," he said.

In addition to expanding its cooperation in various fields, such as green development and digital and blue economies with related sides, China will also focus on developing new business models and formats in digital fields and creating a cooperation pilot zone for "Silk Road e-commerce," he added.

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