Trade between China and Countries along the Belt & Road witnessed robust growth in the first half of this year, official data showed Tuesday.

China’s total imports and exports with these countries surged 27.5 percent year on year to 5.35 trillion yuan (about 826 billion U.S. dollars) in the January-June period, according to Li Kuiwen, a spokesperson with the General Administration of Customs.

The trade volume accounted for 29.6 percent of China’s total foreign trade in the same period, while the growth stood at 0.4 percentage points faster than the overall pace, Li told a press conference.

China’s exports to countries along the Belt & Road expanded 29.1 percent year on year in the six-month period, led by steel and auto products, Li said.

Meanwhile, imports from these nations went up 25.6 percent, with imports of crude oil, farm produce and metal ore reporting steady growth.

The China-Europe Freight Train Service has contributed greatly to stabilising trade along the Belt & Road, he said. The service handled 7,377 trips in the first half, up 43 percent from the same period last year, data by the China State Railway Group Co. Ltd. showed.

China’s central and western regions have also increased participation in Belt & Road cooperation. In the first half, trade between these regions and countries along the route accounted for 19 percent of China’s total, 0.4 percentage points higher than a year ago.

Author: Wang Yifan