China – Belt & Road Countries H1 2021 Bilateral Trade Increases 27.5%

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China BRI bilateral trade reaches US$826 billion in first six months  

Trade between China and countries along the Belt and Road witnessed robust growth in the first half of this year, official data from China customs stated last week .

China’s total imports and exports with these countries surged 27.5% year on year to 5.35 trillion yuan (US$826 billion) in the January-June period, according to Li Kuiwen, of China’s General Administration of Customs. A list, sorted by income group, of China’s Belt and Road Initiative partners can be found here.

The trade volume accounted for 29.6% of China’s total foreign trade in the same period, while the growth stood at 0.4% points faster than the overall pace, Li announced.

This compares with China trade growth for the same period with the European Union at 26.7% and with the United States at 45.7% and ASEAN at 38.2%.

China’s exports to countries along the Belt and Road expanded 29.1% year on year in the six-month period, led by steel and auto products, Li said.

Meanwhile, imports from these nations went up 25.6%, with imports of crude oil, farm produce and metal ore reporting steady growth.

The China-Europe freight train service has contributed greatly to stabilizing trade along the Belt and Road, he said. The service handled 7,377 trips in the first half of this year, up 43% from the same period last year, data by the China State Railway Group Co. Ltd. showed.

China’s central and western regions have also increased participation in Belt and Road cooperation. In the first half, trade between these regions and countries along the route accounted for 19% of China’s total, 0.4% points higher than a year ago.

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