The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) introduced by China in 2013 has achieved several landmarks this year says the country’s National Development and Reform Commission.

It says that development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor continues, as does work on the China – Laos, China – Thailand, and Jakarta – Bandung high-speed lines as well as the Hungary – Serbia project. Chinese companies are involved in construction on all these projects.

Between January and June this year, China’s goods trade with countries and regions along the Belt and Road rose 37.9% year-on-year to reach $US 824.55bn. The commission says China’s non-financial outbound direct investment to BRI countries totaled $US 9.58bn during the same period – a rise of 18% from a year ago.

As for projects, $US 39.35bn worth of contracted projects were completed in the first six months of 2021, a 10.6% year-on-year increase.

Freight trains between China and Europe, which travel along 73 routes, reached 168 cities in 23 European countries in the first half of 2021. There were 7377 trips in the first half of the year, with growth experienced in Xi’an, Chengdu, Chongqing, Zhengzhou and Urumqi.