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China boosts trade with Belt and Road countries, expands imports Release date: 2020-05-19    Source:Xinhua

China will further bolster trade and investments with countries along the Belt and Road, among other efforts to facilitate foreign trade against COVID-19 pandemic challenges, officials said Monday.

The country will explore emerging markets while maintaining ties with traditional ones amid virus-hit global demand, Commerce Minister Zhong Shan told a press conference, citing increasing trade volume with countries along the Belt and Road.

Official data show China's trade of goods with Belt and Road countries rose 0.9 percent year on year in the first four months when total foreign trade contracted 4.9 percent, while non-financial outbound direct investment (ODI) to these countries climbed 13.4 percent in U.S. dollar terms in the same period.

China will work with countries along the Belt and Road to help tackle difficulties for overseas companies and projects, establish more free-trade zones, and include more countries in investment cooperation, said Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Bingnan.

Total trade of goods between China and Belt and Road countries had topped U.S.$7.8 trillion from 2013 to 2019, with non-financial ODI over $110 billion, data from the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) show.

Meanwhile, the country will actively expand imports, especially with the help of the 3rd China International Import Expo scheduled from Nov. 5 to 10 this year, said Zhong.

The MOC also said Monday that measures to cushion trade firms against pandemic shocks are filtering through, as domestic sales volume of export firms grew 17 percent in April and 110,000 companies have received services from the China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation.