Regional Development

Forum emphasizes Fujian's first-tier maritime status in China

Updated: Oct 21, 2022 Print
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The 22nd China International Fair for Investment and Trade was concluded in Xiamen, Fujian province, on Sunday, highlighting the province's strength in propelling maritime affairs and investment through conferences and experts' remarks.

Fujian stands in the first tier among coastal areas in China for implementing opening-up policies. It is also a core area in the routes of the ancient maritime Silk Road and today's Belt and Road Initiative, according to Yin Li, Party secretary of Fujian province.

He made the remarks at the 2022 Silk Road Maritime International Cooperation Forum, which took place on Thursday as a supplementary activity to this year's CIFIT.

The forum was jointly hosted by the Fujian provincial government and the China Institute of Navigation. Through keynote speeches and discussions from attendees, the event showcased the latest achievements in the efforts to serve domestic and worldwide trade, the e-commerce industry, big data analysis and financial innovation through the platform of "Silk Road Maritime".

The platform was established under the bigger picture of the BRI with an aim to serve the trade and logistics industry through ports and maritime transport. Its first route was opened in Xiamen in 2018 and more than 250 members have since joined the alliance.

The work format of the SRM has received positive feedback and substantial support from its partners. With more parts joining in the campaign, Fujian will strive to open more channels to work together with the China-Europe freight trains to better connect the resources on land and water, from home and abroad, Yin said.

The forum released the 10th installment of maritime routes named after Silk Road Maritime, which expanded the number of such routes to 94. It covers seven ports in China-Dalian, Tianjin, Qingdao, Fuzhou, Xiamen, Guangzhou and Qinzhou-and reaches 108 ports in 31 countries and regions.

Fujian province launched the SRM working format based on the role of the province as a core area of the maritime Silk Road and its port and location advantages, aiming to build an open, cooperative, jointly-built and shared BRI-themed shipping and logistics system.

From January to July, the trade volume between Fujian and BRI countries tallied 412.2 billion yuan ($59.5 billion), up 19.6 percent year-on-year.

Those achievements were made amid the complicated international environment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which Yin said proves the driving power of the Silk Road Maritime.

He Jianzhong, president of the China Institute of Navigation, suggested that members have an open mind and inclusive attitude in pursuit of mutual benefit and win-win results. They should hold such faith into daily practice and strive for a common destiny and responsibilities.

Su Wei, deputy secretary general of the National Development and Reform Commission, said in his video speech that while the construction of the Silk Road Maritime working format has achieved solid results, it can still be further improved.

Members should adhere to market-oriented government guidance and innovation-driven green development while always continuing to seek exploration, Su said.

The forum also invited some officials and experts working in fields such as transportation, logistics, meteorology and financial departments to discuss possible options to further optimize the service pattern, boost the dual-circulation development and realize high-quality development of the alliance through their professional perspectives.

They expressed their wishes to increase involvement in the format and work together to maintain the security and stability of the trade channels, industrial chain and supply chain, and take action to make new contributions to its construction.

A blue paper featuring the construction of the Silk Road Maritime from 2021 to 2022 was released on-site.

According to its data, by the end of August, the routes named by the alliance had operated 9,014 times in total and achieved 10.18 million 20-foot equivalent units in container throughput.

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