Weihai expands trade with Belt and Road countries

(chinadaily.com.cn )| Updated : 2018-09-28

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Weihai in Shandong province has taken steps to further economic and trade ties with countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative in recent years.

Statistics from the Weihai municipal bureau of commerce show that 28 Weihai-based companies have established 43 branches and 20 research institutes and marketing centers in 20 countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative.

Weihai's exports to the Belt and Road countries topped 6.95 billion yuan ($1.01 billion) during the first seven months this year, up 1.1 percent year-on-year.

Since China's Belt and Road Initiative was proposed in 2013, an increasing number of companies in Weihai have shown strong interest in overseas investment, building industrial parks and production bases, undertaking projects, establishing sales centers and developing the energy sector in overseas countries.

In September 2017, a subsidiary of Weihai International Economic & Technical Cooperative Co won the bid for a BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) road upgrade project in Dacca, Bangladesh, which was Weihai's first infrastructure project in Belt and Road countries and also marked the city's efforts to explore overseas markets in regions other than Africa.

The upgrading project of BRT lanes, with a construction period of 18 months, will focus on the renovation, reconstruction and upgrading of 100-plus branch roads off the main road between Gazipur and Dhaka airport, as well as building construction, drainage and electric engineering in nine markets along the main road. 

"The project is progressing smoothly and slated to complete in May, 2019," said one of the authorities of Weihai International Economic & Technical Cooperative Co.

The company's efforts on global layout are just a representation of Weihai's moves to advance Belt and Road Initiative construction. 

Since 2013, the city has taken up opportunities to strengthen economic and trade cooperation with Belt and Road countries to push forward the initiative's implementation.

Weihai has striven to build platforms for economic and trade cooperation, holding over 100 economic and trade activities, such as the Weihai-ASEAN Innovation Development Seminar of Economic & Trade Cooperation and the Weihai-Ethiopia Investment and Trade Symposium. Meanwhile, the ninth Weihai International Food Expo helped the city attract more than 80 companies from Belt and Road countries.

According to the commerce bureau, the government has organized local enterprises to promote products in Middle Asia, with three exhibition platforms – an "All products from Shandong" experience center in Moscow, a China Trade City in Saint Petersburg and a comprehensive market in Kazakhstan.

In addition to economic cooperation, Weihai attaches equal importance to science technology development, guiding local enterprises to work together and go global. Based on the Inspur Belt and Road overseas cloud service platform, the city has set up cloud service centers in over 10 countries to offer customized data and cloud services, featuring Chinese standards and solutions.

To optimize the transportation to the Belt and Road countries, Weihai has sped up the construction of an international logistics intermodality center and supporting industrial park and also launched the Weihai port-Guangzhou container train, the South Korea-Weihai-Guangzhou-Vietnam container train, and the Weifang-Wendeng-South Korea-Japan refrigerated container train, as well as railway routes from Weihai port to Hamburg, Duisburg and Uzbekistan.

The improved transport system has created greater trade flow between Weihai and countries along the Belt and Road, perfected the logistics supply chain and accelerated the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative.