BEIJING, March 11 (Xinhua) --- East China's Shandong Province saw robust growth in its foreign trade with the countries along the Belt and Road in the first two months, according to the local customs.
The province's trade with the countries along the Belt and Road amounted to 90.33 billion yuan (about 12.99 billion U.S. dollars) during the period, an increase of 11.3 percent, accounting for 32.5 percent of the total value of its foreign trade, said Qingdao Customs on Monday.
In the first two months, the province's foreign trade stood at 278.08 billion yuan, down 7.9 percent year on year. To be specific, its exports were 138.76 billion yuan, a decrease of 11.7 percent, and its imports amounted to 139.32 billion yuan, down 3.7 percent year on year.
Statistics show that in the first two months, ASEAN was the largest trade market for Shandong Province, followed by the EU. The province's foreign trade with the ASEAN countries during the period was 35.07 billion yuan, an increase of 12 percent, accounting for 12.6 percent of the total value of Shandong's foreign trade.
The COVID-19 outbreak and the extension of the Spring Festival holiday are main reasons behind the fall in the province's foreign trade during the period. Its foreign trade in February was significantly affected by the epidemic. In particular, the delayed work resumption after the holiday had a greater impact on exports, and Shandong's exports fell 29.7 percent in February, according to the Customs.
Driven by factors such as the enterprises' goods purchases for production resumption and the strong demand for consumer goods and anti-epidemic materials, Shandong's imports increased slightly by 2.3 percent in February. Imports of the machinery and equipment, soybeans, pulp, aquatic products, meat products, medical instruments and equipment each were over 20 percent, said the Customs. (Eidted by Hu Pingchao, email@example.com)