XI'AN, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) -- The Sixth Silk Road International Exposition opened Sunday in Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province, with deeper Belt and Road cooperation high on the agenda.
With a theme of strengthening interconnectivity and integration for common progress, shared benefits and win-win results, the expo has attracted participants from over 70 countries and regions, including the Republic of Korea, Thailand, and Singapore. Uzbekistan serves as the guest country of honor.
The five-day expo also features meetings and forums that cover topics such as RCEP regional economic and trade cooperation, smart manufacturing and green development.
The Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by China in 2013, aims to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and beyond along the ancient Silk Road trade routes for common development and prosperity. There has been substantial progress in trade and investment under the initiative.
From 2013 to 2021, the total volume of trade of goods between China and the Belt and Road countries was nearly 11 trillion U.S. dollars, while two-way investment exceeded 230 billion dollars, said Li Fei, assistant commerce minister of China.
By the end of 2021, China had built 79 zones for economic and trade cooperation in 24 countries along the Belt and Road, investing 43 billion dollars and creating 346,000 local jobs, added Li.
In addition, participants at the expo believe that the Belt and Road Initiative is showing more vitality and stronger attractiveness.
Guo Rui is a sales representative for Shaanxi Sunrise Import and Export Trade Co., Ltd., a company that sells Russian products including food, wine, toiletries and tea transported to China by China-Europe freight trains.
According to Guo, domestic consumers have been enthusiastic about Russian products these years, with the company's sales growing continually since its establishment in 2019 and expected to exceed 100 million yuan this year (about 14.83 million U.S. dollars).
In about nine years, trade between China and countries along the Belt and Road has reached a new high, with new progress made in investment cooperation.
"The Belt and Road Initiative is very important to us. I hope that by participating in the expo, more people will learn about Armenia and visit Armenia," said Davit Mkhitaryan, vice president of Armenian Chinese Partnership Center, at the expo's international pavilion.
The expo is a vivid demonstration of deepening international cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative and promoting the development of an open global economy, said Ren Hongbin, chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.
"We hope that companies from the countries will work hard to create new development opportunities, explore new models of cooperation, carry out cooperation in new areas such as health and innovation, build landmark projects for people's well-being, and produce more fruits of cooperation that are shared by people of all countries," Ren said.