China Daily (Hong Kong)
Guangzhou makes strides in promoting BRI
Guangzhou, capital of South China’s Guangdong province, has made remarkable achievements in supporting the Belt and Road Initiative.
The city government said authorities started by optimizing institutions and gathering superior resources, establishing a comprehensive working mechanism for the BRI.
In 2020, Guangzhou received investment of $548 million from countries involved in the BRI, up 67.6 percent year-on-year.
Meanwhile, the city launched 42 enterprises and institutions in BRI countries, involving capital of $411 million.
A host of international cooperation platforms were built by the city as part of its efforts to further open up and make contributions to the BRI, local officials said.
The China-Saudi Arabia industry cooperation program, which was jointly initiated by Saudi Arabia, Guangzhou and Yinchuan in the Ningxia Hui autonomous region in 2019, has established partnerships with four industrial parks in Jazan, Jubail, Yambu, and Ras Al-Khair of Saudi Arabia.
As the first project of the program, domestic company Shen Gong’s production base in Jubail has completed its first-phase construction.
The project will gain investment totaling $892 million, and its annual output value will be $2.21 billion, a representative from the program said.
So far, two projects of the program are ready to go into production, and eight projects in such fields as crossborder e-commerce and green energy will be set in motion in the next few years.
Guangzhou has also enhanced its connectivity with BRI countries
through an extensive transport network covering shipping, air transport and international rail.
The Port of Guangzhou ranked fifth worldwide last year in terms of
annual container throughput. The port has opened 137 international container line routes, including 114 to countries and regions involved in the BRI.
The Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport now operates more than 300 air routes, connecting with 50 cities in 29 BRI countries.
The airport was the busiest in the world in 2020, with its annual passenger throughput surpassing 43.76 million, said local officials.
In late June, Guangzhou launched a new China-Europe freight train service, linking with Khorgas in Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and Duisburg in Germany.
It is the eighth China-Europe freight train route via Guangzhou and the city’s China-Europe train services have reached more than 20 countries and regions.
The routes slash transportation time and costs and are bringing huge benefits to foreign trade companies. They are also playing a vital role in facilitating trade and economic cooperation with BRI countries, local officials said.
From January to July, Guangzhou racked up 185.47 billion yuan ($28.7 billion) in import and export with BRI countries, up 32.3 percent compared with the same period of 2020.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations has become Guangzhou’s largest trading partner, with the foreign trade value hitting 154.97 billion yuan last year, the city government said.
Guangzhou has also held an array of exhibitions, conferences and promotional activities to boost trade with BRI countries and regions.
For example, the annual China Import and Export Fair, also known as the Canton Fair, has become an important platform for the country to display goods and share its huge market with the rest of the world.
Over the past few years, 45 percent of exhibitors at the fair were from BRI countries and regions, said local officials.