China Economic Net | 5 March 2023
China’s trade in goods with BRI countries doubled in past ten years
BEIJING, Mar. 5 (Gwadar Pro) - “From 2013 to 2022, the volume of trade in goods between China and BRI countries has doubled from US $1.04 trillion to US $2.07 trillion, with an average annual growth rate of 8%”, said Mr. Chen Chunjiang, Assistant Minister of Commerce, China said in a press conference held in Beijing Thursday.
In the same period, China’s cumulative bilateral investment in BRI countries exceeded US $270 billion, he added.
He briefed the audience that fruitful results have been achieved since BRI was put forward ten years ago. By the end of 2022, Chinese companies had invested a total of $57.13 billion in overseas economic and trade cooperation zones in BRI countries, creating 421,000 jobs. From 2013 to 2022, over half of China’s contracted projects abroad are in BRI countries, with the total value of new contracts signed and the total turnover of completed projects in BRI countries exceeding US $1.2 trillion and US $800 billion respectively.
Mr. Chen said in the next step China will continue to deepen and consolidate economic and trade cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative.
“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 a free trade zone network covering the entire BRI-related region," he said.
Green development, digital economy, and blue economy will be put high on the agenda of China’s cooperation with BRI countries, he shared. China will make cooperation greener in infrastructure, energy, industry, and trade. “Silk Road E-commerce” pilot zones will be set up to foster a new mode of business.
Data shows that despite the pandemic restrictions, trade volume has been on an upward trajectory in the past 3 years. In 2022, Pakistan’s exports of seafood to China increased by 42%, rice by 53%. In the first nine months of 2022, Pakistan’s exports to China were nearly 20% higher than in the entire year of 2018, showcasing the catalyzing effect of the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (CPFTA).
Meanwhile, China remains Pakistan’s largest trading partner during the first quarter of the ongoing fiscal year 2022-23 and the leading investor in Pakistan in the first five months of FY 2022-23, contributing 23.83%, or $102.5 million to its FDI.
It is expected as special economic zones (SEZs) under the umbrella of CPEC are being established, they will attract more FDI for Pakistan in the near future not only from China, but also from other countries.