Despite the overall decline of foreign trade, the import and export of Shandong province to countries along the Belt and Road increased against the trend in the first quarter, which became an important factor to stabilize the development of its foreign trade.
From January to March, the province’s import and export to countries along the Belt and Road reached 145.4 billion yuan, up 12 percent year on year, 15.6 percent higher than the growth rate of the whole province in the same period, and accounting for 32.5 percent of the total import and export value of foreign trade in the same period, 5 percentage points higher than that of the same period last year. The export reached 76.74 billion yuan, up 8.9 percent, and import 68.66 billion yuan, up 15.8 percent.
“The rapid growth of export to ASEAN countries has become an important factor to the overall growth of exports to countries along the Belt and Road,” said Zhang Yibing, deputy chief of Jinan Customs.
The high complementary industrial chains between ASEAN and Shandong and the relatively small impact of the outbreak on ASEAN countries have also become favorable factors for stabilizing bilateral trade. In the first quarter, Shandong’s export to ASEAN countries grew by 14.6 percent, 5.7 percentage points higher than the overall export to the Belt and Road countries in the same period and accounting for 43.7 percent of the total export value to countries along the Belt and Road in the same period. The export of key commodities such as mechanical and electrical products, agricultural products and labor intensive products has achieved rapid growth, among which the export of integrated circuits surged by 69.5 times.
In addition, the smooth running of the freight train from China to Europe and the orderly start of related construction projects have provided strong support for the import and export growth of Shandong to countries along the Belt and Road. In the first quarter, the province's import and export to countries along the Belt and Road increased by 5 percent to 2.43 billion yuan, among which the import increased by 11%. Meanwhile, Shandong exported 1.73 billion yuan of contracted projects to countries along the Belt and Road, an increase of 2.7 times.