Chongqing - This year marks the 10th anniversary of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a global cooperation platform that demonstrates China's vision and provides solutions to the reform of the global governance system and multifaceted challenges. The city of Chongqing in western China shares the regional prosperity brought by this initiative.
As of January 2023, China has signed over 200 cooperation documents for jointly building the BRI with 151 countries and 32 international organizations.
Chongqing plays an important role in promoting regional economic integration with the joint construction of the BRI. In 2022, Chongqing's import and export volume with countries (regions) participating in the joint construction of the BRI reached 221.4 billion yuan (about 31.40 billion U.S. dollars), accounting for nearly 30% of the city's total import and export volume.
Chongqing connects the BRI and the Yangtze River Economic Belt, the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor (ILSTC), the China Railway Express, and the Yangtze River Waterway.
The operation of China Railway Express is a model of the BRI construction. It has established a new all-weather and high-capacity land transportation route across Eurasia, outside of the maritime system, bringing new trade opportunities to countries along the route.
Chongqing was the first city in China to open a China Railway Express route. In 2022, the China Railway Express (Chengdu-Chongqing) operated over 5,000 trains yearly. The cumulative number of trains operated from Chengdu and Chongqing exceeded 22,000, accounting for about 30% of the national total.
The construction of the ILSTC provides a convenient pathway for Chongqing to reach the sea to the south. In 2022, the provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities along the Corridor completed 8,800 intermodal transportations with ASEAN countries, driving the total import and export volume between western China and ASEAN countries to reach 881.8 billion yuan.
From 2017 to 2022, Chongqing's import and export trade with ASEAN countries through the Corridor reached 13.56 billion yuan, an increase of 37 times.
So far, Chongqing has established 31 international friendship cities and 77 cities for friendly exchanges with countries participating in the joint construction of the BRI Initiative.
More personnel from countries along the route are coming to Chongqing for international exchanges.
For example, the 2023 Belt and Road Forum for Land-sea Interconnected Development, which was held on May 17, brought together political party leaders, think tank scholars, and business representatives from partner countries of the BRI cooperation, including Sounthone Xayachack, Vice Chairman of the National Assembly of Laos, and Agung Laksono, former Speaker of the Indonesian Parliament, to discuss the future regional development jointly.
The forum focused on gaining a more profound understanding of the guiding principles of the BRI, Global Development Initiative, Global Security Initiative, and Global Civilization Initiative while exploring strategies for fostering new growth drivers and building a community of developers.
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