SCIO press conference on white paper 'The Belt and Road Initiative: A Key Pillar of the Global Community of Shared Future'

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International Business Daily: 

Unimpeded trade cannot be possible without the construction of trade channels. The Ministry of Commerce is the main department responsible for the collaborative construction of the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor. Could you please provide an update on the progress of this construction and the benefits it has brought to the participating countries?

Guo Tingting: 

Thank you for your question. General Secretary Xi Jinping has placed great emphasis on the construction of the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor and has provided crucial instructions multiple times, offering guidance for our work. The Ministry of Commerce has followed this spirit and implemented the cooperation plan for the corridor in collaboration with related departments. By steadily advancing the project, we have facilitated the opening up and development of central and western China, and created more development opportunities for relevant countries. Since its launch in 2018, the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor has become an important bond of cooperation between China and other participating countries after five years of development. It possesses the following three distinctive features:

First, it encompasses a wide range of countries and regions. With Chongqing and Singapore serving as two major hubs, the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor uses key western Chinese cities including Nanning, Chengdu, Kunming, and Guiyang as multiple domestic fulcrums, and provides access to 465 ports in 120 countries and regions, thus becoming a pivotal gateway connecting central and western China with the rest of the world.

Second, it offers multiple logistic modes. The New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor thrives through the development of multi-modal transport, encompassing several logistic modes such as rail-sea freight trains, cross-border highway regular lorry services, and international railway express services. Furthermore, services like the Air Corridor and customized trains also help improve regional cargo transport capacity.

Third, its business is experiencing rapid growth. In 2022, the trade volume of the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor, with Chongqing as the embarkation and destination port, increased by 147% compared to that of 2019. This signifies that trade cooperation has been taken to new height between China's central and western regions and the countries along the corridor.

Next, the Ministry of Commerce, in accordance with the policy decisions and plans of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, will work closely with relevant departments and localities to solidly promote the construction of the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor and create a benchmark for high-quality cooperation in the joint construction of the BRI. First, we will encourage more ASEAN countries to participate in the corridor's construction, constantly enhancing its resilience and vitality. Second, we will implement the RCEP to a high quality, accelerate negotiations for the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area 3.0, and promote mutual reinforcement and common development between the corridor and trade. Third, we will expedite the implementation of cooperation plans, striving to establish a multi-dimensional modern network of interconnectivity that is efficient, open, secure and stable by 2035.

Thank you.

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