China’s trade with Maritime Silk Road nations surges in 10 years

China’s trade with countries along what it terms the Maritime Silk Road grew by an average of 18.2 percent annually over the past decade, Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua reported last week.

According to data from China’s State Oceanic Administration (SOA) – cited by Xinhua – China’s trade with those nations now accounted for 20 percent of the Asian country’s total foreign trade volume, up from 14.6 percent ten years ago.

Figures from the SOA also showed that Chinese companies’ direct investment in countries along the Maritime Silk Road grew from US$240 million to US$9.27 billion in the course of ten years. It represented an annual growth of 44 percent, Xinhua added.

The 21st Century Maritime Silk Road would be enhanced this year through an action plan, SOA’s Director Wang Hong said, as quoted by the media outlet. He added there were plans to set up a maritime co-operation centre between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, a regional club also known as ASEAN.

The 21st Century Maritime Silk Road is part of the “One Belt, One Road” initiative proposed in 2013 by China’s President Xi Jinping. It covers routes that have historically linked China’s trade with the rest of the world. It aims to connect better the economies along the routes, and enhance trade across Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa through infrastructure development.