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This photo taken on September 22, 2023 shows a scene at the 2023 Euro-Asia Economic Forum in Xi’an, capital of northwest China’s Shaanxi Province.

10 years on, BRI brings closer Euro-Asian ties

XI’AN (Xinhua) -- Employing his fluent Chinese, Wouters Jeffery was busy introducing his Belgian products to expo visitors, pouring beer for them to taste.
Held on the sidelines of 2023 Euro-Asia Economic Forum, the economic and trade expo was held from Friday to Monday in Xi’an, the capital of northwest China’s Shaanxi Province.
Stationed in Xi’an, Jeffery, 35, works for a Brussels-based import consulting services company. The total trade value of his company exceeded 4 million yuan (about US$557,670) in 2019, importing food, software and other products for multiple clients from Europe.
“The pandemic seriously affected our business over the past three years. We expect the business will pick up this year,” said Jeffery, adding that more companies have turned to them this year as potential future clients.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Over the years, the BRI has brought closer trade and cultural ties in the Euro-Asian region, with people from BRI countries benefiting from trade exchanges, communications and cultural integration.
In the theme exhibition area featuring five Central Asian countries, exhibitor Zhao Xiliang treated visitors to purple candies from Uzbekistan made from cocoa butter.
“If there were no BRI, the agricultural products from the farmland in Central Asia would be difficult to bring to the dining tables of Chinese consumers,” said Zhao, adding that more and more Chinese enterprises are participating in trade with Euro-Asian countries, helping with local industrial upgrading and product optimisation.
Statistics show that from 2013 to 2022, China’s trade in goods with Belt and Road countries increased from US$1.04 trillion to US$2.07 trillion, while two-way investment exceeded US$270 billion.
According to a World Bank research report, by 2030, the BRI will increase trade among participating countries by 2.8 percent to 9.7 percent, global trade by 1.7 percent to 6.2 percent, and global income by 0.7 percent to 2.9 percent.
Adil Ahmed, a dealer in artwork decorations from Pakistan, has been attending expos and fairs of various kinds in China almost every year for the past 17 years.


(Latest Update September 26, 2023)

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