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Hainan - Belt and Road trade volume spikes

Release Time:2024-01-02   

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the start of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a program that aims to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa on and beyond the ancient Silk Road trade route. According to Haikou Customs, imports and exports from China’s southern Hainan Province to the countries of the BRI have been steadily increasing. Totals rose from 57.4 billion yuan (about $7.87 billion) in 2013 to 94.4 billion (about $12.94 billion) in 2022, with an average annual rise of 5.7%.

In the first eight months of 2023, Hainan’s imports and exports to Belt and Road countries totaled 71.19 billion yuan (about $9.76 billion), an increase of 23.3% over 2022’s numbers and accounting for 46.8% of the province’s total foreign trade import and export values over that period.

Yangpu Port in Danzhou, part of south China’s Hainan Province, is developing into an international shipping hub. (Photo: Hainan Daily)

ASEAN is Hainan’s main trading partner, and investment and trade cooperation in the areas of tropical agriculture, energy, minerals, paper production, petrochemicals, auto manufacturing, and more is expanding, with industrial chains in these sectors already deeply integrated. Bilateral trade between Hainan and ASEAN countries rose from 17.02 billion yuan (approx. $2.33 billion) in 2013 to 39.48 billion yuan (approx. $5.41 billion) in 2022, with the proportion of intermediate goods increasing from 56.7% in 2013 to 66.7% in 2022. ASEAN has remained Hainan’s biggest trading partner since 2019, for five years and counting.

Trade between Hainan and the Middle East, Africa, and other Belt and Road Initiative countries is also growing fast. In the first eight months of 2023, imports went up by 21.9% and exports by 67.1% year-on-year, increasing faster than Hainan’s overall foreign trade volume over that period.

Over the past decade, trade between Hainan and the Belt and Road Initiative countries has continued to grow, and the import / export commodity structure has changed from a focus on primary to industrial products. In 2022, the proportion of primary goods traded with BRI countries fell from 85% in 2013 to 44.7%, while the proportion of industrial products rose from 14.4% to 55.3%.