The total trade volume of goods between China and the Belt and Road (B&R) Countries exceeded six trillion U.S. dollars from 2013 to 2018, said the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) on Thursday.

The average annual growth rate of trade between China and B&R countries hit four percent during the 2013-2018 period, higher than the growth rate of China’s foreign trade during the same period, accounting for 27.4 percent of China’s total trade in goods, Gao Feng, MOFCOM spokesperson said.

Investment Cooperation Continues to Deepen

In the 2013-2018 period, Chinese companies directly invested more than 90 billion U.S. dollars in countries along the route, an average annual growth rate of 5.2 percent, said Gao. The value of newly signed foreign contracted projects in countries along the route exceeded 600 billion U.S. dollars, an average annual growth rate of 11.9 percent.

Up to now, Chinese enterprises have built a number of overseas economic and trade cooperation zones in the B&R countries, with a total investment of more than 30 billion U.S. dollars, creating nearly 300,000 jobs, said Gao.

A New Channel: Silk Road e-Commerce

Silk Road e-commerce is becoming a new channel for economic and trade cooperation between countries. China has established bilateral e-commerce cooperation mechanisms with 17 countries, formed e-commerce cooperation documents and accelerated corporate coordination and brand cultivation under multilateral mechanisms such as BRICS.

The New modes of Business have brought impetus to trade between China and the B&R Countries, said Gao. Meanwhile, a number of major infrastructure projects such as railways, highways and ports were completed, Gao introduced.

For example, the opening of the China-Maldives Friendship Bridge, Yaji Railway and Gwadar Port are widely welcomed by the locals. Energy, resource cooperation, and projects in the manufacturing sector have also been smoothly promoted, and some have been put into production.