XI’AN — Trade between China and the Belt and Road countries exceeded $600 billion, 26 percent of China’s total foreign trade volume, during the first eight months of 2016, said Fang Aiqin, deputy head of the Ministry of Commerce.
Fang was speaking at a seminar on the Belt and Road Initiative which opened on Sept 26 in Xi’an, capital of northwest China’s Shaanxi province.
From January to August, China invested nearly $10 billion in countries along the Belt and Road through financial institutions including the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the Silk Road Fund.
Fang said Chinese companies have established over 50 overseas economic and trade cooperation zones in Belt and Road countries, with a total investment of $15.6 billion, creating $900 million in tax revenue and about 70,000 jobs in host countries.
The Belt and Road Initiative refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013. The initiative brings together countries in Asia, Europe and even Africa via overland and maritime networks.
He Lifeng, deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission, said that in the three years since the launch of the initiative, over 30 countries have signed cooperation agreements with China on the matter.
The seminar on Sept 26 and 27 has attracted about 300 guests from think tanks, media and business from around the world.