The Xiamen port in East China's Fujian province. [Photo/VCG]
Trade between East China's Fujian province and countries along the Belt and Road jumped 6.2 percent year-on-year to 371.29 billion yuan ($57.87 billion), accounting for 38.9 percent of the province's total foreign trade, in the first half of 2023, according to statistics from Fuzhou Customs.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative. Over the past decade, imports and exports between Fujian and countries along the Belt and Road increased at cumulative growth rate of 126.5 percent from 323.66 billion yuan in 2013 to 733.2 billion yuan in 2022.
According to Fuzhou Customs, imports and exports between Fujian and countries along the Belt and Road from January to June showed three main characteristics:
Closer connections in industrial and supply chains
Electromechanical products are the main exports from Fujian to countries along the Belt and Road, with an export value of 79.05 billion yuan in the first half of the year, an increase of 21.8 percent year-on-year.
In particular, the exports of components of automatic data processing equipment and lithium batteries have increased by 19.7 times and 43.7 percent year-on-year respectively. This demonstrates the complementary advantages in industries between Fujian and countries along the Belt and Road, as well as how the integrated development of industrial and supply chains is progressing quickly.
Deeper cooperation in energy and agricultural products
In the first half of the year, Fujian imported energy products worth 86.98 billion yuan from countries along the Belt and Road, an increase of 52.1 percent year-on-year. Among them, the imports of coal, natural gas, and crude oil increased by 125 percent, 45.9 percent and 18.5 percent year-on-year respectively. The province also imported agricultural products worth 20.79 billion yuan, an increase of 31.2 percent year-on-year.
Sustained growth in imports and exports with major trading partners
In the first half of the year, Fujian's imports and exports with ASEAN, its largest trading partner along the Belt and Road, reached 202.99 billion yuan, an increase of 2 percent year-on-year. Imports and exports with Russia and the United Arab Emirates grew rapidly, posting year-on-year growth rates of 111.9 percent and 63.5 percent respectively.