Xiamen in Fujian province, located at the starting point of the Maritime Silk Road, has been actively participating in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The city, determined to become an important hub on the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, is moving towards high-quality development.
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A view of Xiamen Port. [Photo/WeChat account: xiamen_swj]
Over the past decade, the city has launched a variety of transport models, such as the China-Europe Railway Express and the Silk Road Maritime project, all of which have made Xiamen a key transportation hub for land, sea, and air connections between China and countries and regions involved in the BRI. Trade between Xiamen and BRI countries has increased from $24.8 billion to $50.9 billion in the past decade, with an average annual growth rate of 8.3 percent.
Total foreign trade between Xiamen and BRI countries reached 330.79 billion yuan ($45.22 billion) in 2022, a 12 percent increase compared to the previous year. In the first eight months of the year, Xiamen's trade with these countries and regions reached 235.3 billion yuan, a year-on-year growth of 13.3 percent. Exports amounted to 92.79 billion yuan, a 1.5 percent increase, and imports reached 142.51 billion yuan, growing by 22.5 percent.
Local officials said that over the past decade, Xiamen has focused on the advantageous industries of participating countries and regions and promoted investment in high-end commerce and trade, intelligent equipment, finance, and biomedicine. In the past 10 years, a total of 728 foreign-funded enterprises have been launched by BRI countries, bringing in a contractual foreign capital of $3.53 billion.
In 2018, Xiamen launched the Silk Road Maritime project, a new logistics facilitation platform aiming to boost transportation between China and countries along the Maritime Silk Road.
Recently, 13 new members, including Ghana Ports and Abu Dhabi Ports Company in the United Arab Emirates, have been awarded licenses in Xiamen and officially joined the Silk Road Maritime project, bringing the total number of alliance members to 317 and the number of Silk Road Maritime routes to 116.
With the help of the Silk Road Maritime platform, Xiamen Port had launched 133 container foreign trade routes reaching 149 ports in 55 countries and regions as of the end of 2022. Among them are 86 routes linking the city with BRI countries and regions, which has helped doubled the city's competitive advantage and develop its foreign trade.