China trade with BRI countries grows 5.5% in Q1: NBS data

BEIJING, Apr. 17 (Alliance News): In the first quarter, China imports and exports with the Belt and Road partner countries grew by 5.5 percent, accounting for 47.4 percent of the total value of imports and exports, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed.

“National economy made a good start in the first quarter,” noted Sheng Laiyun, deputy director of NBS. As per NBS, China’s gross domestic product (GDP) reached 29.63 trillion yuan (~4.17 trillion U.S. dollars), witnessing a 5.3 percent growth year on year in the first quarter of 2024, ChinaEconomic Net (CEN) reported on Wednesday.

Specifically, in the first quarter, agricultural production showed good momentum, with the added value of agriculture (crop farming) increasing by 3.8% year on year. Industrial production grew rapidly, with the total value added of industrial enterprises above designated size increasing by 6.1% year on year nationwide. Market sales maintained stable growth, with the total retail sales of consumer goods reaching 12.0327 trillion yuan, up by 4.7% year on year.

The total value of imports and exports of goods reached 10.1693 trillion yuan, an increase of 5.0% year on year, with continuous optimization of trade structure.

Consumer prices remained generally stable, with the national consumer price index (CPI) unchanged year on year. The overall employment remained stable, and residents’ income saw steady growth.

Sheng mentioned positive factors during the period such as rising production demand, stable employment and prices, and growing market confidence. “These positive factors driving economic recovery are accumulating and strengthening, laying a good foundation for full-year growth,” said Sheng.

At the next stage, China will actively cultivate and develop new quality productive forces and strengthen the implementation of the government’s macro policies, and continue to effectively pursue high-quality economic growth and appropriately increase economic output, he said.

Zamir Assadi, a Research and Media Fellow at the China International Press Communication Centre, underscored the transformative potential of China’s emerging new quality productive forces, highlighting their wide-ranging benefits for the global community.

Assadi emphasized that nations connected with China through the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), such as Pakistan, stand to particularly gain from these advancements.

Assadi posited that these developments have the capacity to revolutionize global economic growth, which has languished in the wake of the pandemic. “When China grows, the world grows and when the Chinese economy moves, the world economy moves,” he remarked. China’s GDP grew 5.2 percent year on year last year and the country has targeted its full-year economic growth at around 5 percent for 2024.