Belt and Road Trade Figures, 2013-2017
In September 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the Silk Road Economic Belt followed by the introduction of the 21st- Century Maritime Silk Road that October, which together became known as the Belt and Road Initiative. Over the five years spanning from 2013 to 2017, the total trade volume between China and countries along the Belt and Road routes reached US$6.98 trillion with a growth rate much faster than that of China’s overall foreign trade. China has become the largest trading partner for 25 nations and signed or updated five free trade agreements with 13 nations along the routes. Also over the past five years, China’s direct investment in countries along the Belt and Road has exceeded US$70 billion at an annual growth rate of 7.2 percent. The value of new contracted projects in those countries surpassed US$500 billion at an annual growth rate of 19.2 percent.