In the first quarter of this year, Shandong's trade with countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative increased by 27.2 percent year-on-year, hitting 315.46 billion yuan ($44.96 billion). This accounted for 41.3 percent of the province's total foreign trade value in the period, according to statistics from local customs authorities.
From January to March, the export volume between Shandong and BRI countries reached 163.24 billion yuan, up 27.4 percent, while imports stood at 152.22 billion yuan, up 27.1 percent.
Proposed in 2013, the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road have subsequently resulted in a common development policy called the Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to improve existing trade routes and to create new ones, with the goal of bolstering transport and economic corridors connecting more than 60 countries across Asia, Europe, and Africa.
Over the past 10 years, Shandong has been beefing up efforts to integrate into BRI construction, with its import and export scale to countries and regions involved in the BRI expanding.
The BRI is a mega project of great historical significance in terms of its prospects for trade and economic cooperation, which will benefit all participating parties and help improve the well-being of all people involved, said Shandong officials, adding that the province will continue to boost ties and cooperation with BRI countries.