The “Belt and Road” Initiative has boosted China’s foreign trade, which grew fast in the first quarter of this year in different sectors.
China’s exports and imports volume with the countries along the “Belt and Road” routes reached 1.66 trillion yuan, up 26.2 percent year on year and accounted for 26.7 percent of China’s total foreign trade. The growth rate was 4.4 percentage points higher than that of China’s overall foreign trade.
Northwest China’s Guansu Province, located on a golden section of the Silk Road Economic Belt, has benefited a lot from the initiative. Its trade volume with the countries along the route hit nearly one thirds of its total foreign trade in the first three months. Its export of vegetables even increased by 143 percent year on year.
Liu Xinnian, a farmer in the province’s Liangjiadun Township, has never thought that his tomatoes can be sold overseas.
“Many people came to my greenhouses to purchase tomatoes and will sell them to the East Asian market in Kazakhstan. A few years ago, we never thought that our tomatoes could be transported to foreign countries. We have never been to foreign countries, but buyers in exportbusinesses come. The tomatoes in my three greenhouses were sold over 40,000 yuan last year but over 60,000 yuan this year. What a big change in my income!” said Liu.
The infrastructure construction along the “Belt and Road” also made China’s machinery manufacturing alive. The overseas sales of Sany Group, one of China’s largest road machinery suppliers located in central China’s Hunan Province, accounted for nearly 50 percent of the group’s total sales in the first quarter.
“More than 100 applicants had job interviews here in the first quarter. It’s a big figure in recent years, so we have high pressure in finding new employees. The demand from the countries along ‘Belt and Road’ is particularly large. We find it more difficult to recruit employees after the Spring Festival. The routine recruitment is completely unable to meet our demand. Therefore, we are now taking the initiative to select resumes on the Internet,” said Xiao Yanping, manager of human resources department, Sany Group International Division.
As a declaration center for the Silk Road Economic Belt, the Qingdao Customs in east China’s Shandong Province handled goods exported to the countries along the Belt and Road worth 52.31 billion yuan in the first quarter, up 14.89 percent year on year.
“A small machine tool was sold at about 3,000 to 4,000 U.S. dollars last year, while a precision machine tool, like the one cleared just now, was 300,000 U.S. dollars. Such high value commodities were only imports last year, but this year, they have exported to the developed countries in Europe and America. The change is very obvious. We have five to six export declarations, even more than ten, a day,” said Wang Rong, chief of comprehensive businessdepartment, declaration division, Qingdao Customs.