10 yrs on: Ningbo sees closer links with BRI countries

chinadaily.com.cn| Updated:  October 17, 2023 L M S


People celebrate the opening of the Ningbo-Budapest flight on May 29. [Photo/Ningbo Evening News]

Ningbo in East China's Zhejiang province has experienced significant growth in trade with countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), according to official statistics from Ningbo Customs.

The trade volume between Ningbo and BRI countries increased from 228.28 billion yuan ($31.21 billion) in 2013 to 540.68 billion yuan in 2022.

Over the past 10 years, the total import and export volume between Ningbo and BRI countries has reached 3.35 trillion yuan, with an average annual growth rate of 9.5 percent. This growth rate has surpassed Ningbo's average foreign trade growth rate by 1.8 percentage points.

During the first eight months of this year, Ningbo's imports and exports with BRI countries amounted to 372.25 billion yuan, a 5.1 percent increase compared to the same period last year.

Ningbo has made significant progress in improving transportation connectivity with BRI countries over the past decade. In June of this year, the city achieved an aviation milestone by opening its first regular intercontinental passenger flight to Budapest, Hungary. This has created new opportunities for economic and cultural exchanges between Ningbo and Hungary.

Zhou Chenhao, an official at Ningbo Customs, emphasized that in addition to Budapest, Ningbo currently provides services for passenger flights between Ningbo Lishe International Airport and 10 BRI countries, including Thailand and Singapore. Cargo flights have also been connected to nine BRI countries, including the Philippines and Vietnam.

Additionally, Ningbo Zhoushan Port has established 125 sea routes to BRI countries, representing a significant 71.2 percent increase from 2013. These routes account for 40 percent of the total number of maritime routes opened by the port.