From blueprint to tangible benefits, 5-year development of B&R

Print E-mail Xinhua, August 23, 2018
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Since its proposal in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative, which envisions a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa, has created economic opportunities and boosted common development among a number of countries.

The following are highlights of the progress made under the initiative:

Trade & investment

-- Combined trade volume of countries along the Belt and Road totaled 9.3 trillion U.S. dollars in 2017, or 27.8 percent of the world's total, according to data from the State Information Center, a government think tank.

-- China's trade with countries along the Belt and Road expanded 11.3 percent year on year to 4.57 trillion yuan (672.1 billion dollars) in the first seven months this year. The pace of growth was 2.7 percentage points higher than the country's overall trade increase.

-- Since 2013, China has invested more than 60 billion dollars in countries along the Belt and Road. In 2017, direct investment reached 14.36 billion dollars, or 12 percent of China's total outbound investment.

-- To further boost cooperation, China has established more than 80 overseas economic and trade cooperation zones in countries along the Belt and Road, providing more than 244,000 local jobs.

Closer connectivity

-- A number of major Chinese-assisted infrastructure projects, such as the railway connecting landlocked Ethiopia with Djibouti, Mombasa-Nairobi railway in Kenya and Maputo Cross-sea Bridge in Mozambique, exemplify the tangible benefits brought by cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative.

-- The China-Europe express freight rail network, a crucial part of the initiative, has expanded rapidly, improved logistics efficiency and boosted trade and investment. China now has express freight rail services linking 48 domestic cities with 42 European cities. Since March 2011, more than 9,000 such trips have been made.

Consensus building

-- Over 100 countries and international organizations have signed agreements of cooperation with China on developing the Belt and Road.

-- Many countries and regions along the Belt and Road have considered integrating the initiative with their own development programs, including Mongolia's Prairie Road, Kazakhstan's Nurly Zhol (Bright Path), the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union and the EU's Junker Investment Plan.

-- The initiative has been incorporated into documents of many international mechanisms, including the United Nations, Group of 20 and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

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