Fujian set to play bigger role in bolstering BRI
Fujian is set to spare no efforts in becoming a key node bolstering the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, a local official said on Wednesday,adding that the province will serve as a transportation hub, a frontier economic and trade platform, a test bed for systematic reforms and a bridge linking China and the countries along the Road.
While attending the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, Ye Fiwen, deputy head of the Fujian provincial commission of development and reform, made the remarks at a press conference in Beijing.
The Belt and Road Initiative, which refers to an ultra-modern land-and-sea project proposed by China in 2013, aims to boost trade links and infrastructure connectivity among Asia, Europe and Africa－a throwback to the ancient Silk Road routes. It comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
The original starting point of the ancient maritime Silk Road, Fujian is pivotal in expanding connectivity between China and BRI countries. According to Ye, Fujian was home to 181 berths of 10,000-ton-class or above as of the end of 2018. The ports handled 558 million metric tons of cargo last year, an increase of 7.3 percent year-on-year. Among them were 16.47 million containers, an uptick of 5.3 percent.
The province has also launched a raft of trade fairs to boost links with the BRI countries, such as the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Exposition, formerly known as Cross-Straits Fair for Economy and Trade.
Statistics show that a total of 194 companies from Fujian invested $5.52 billion overseas in 2018, up by 57 percent year-on-year. In the same year, the trade value between Fujian and the BRI countries soared by 10.7 percent to a record 394.62 billion yuan ($58.4 million).