Shandong makes strides in foreign trade

(| Updated : 2019-09-30

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The Information Office of Shandong Provincial People's Government held a news conference on Sept 29 to describe the province's foreign trade development in the past 70 years.

According to officials, the province has continued to implement the opening-up strategy, make better use of both international and domestic markets and resources, and further open the province up in more areas.

The total value of the province's imports and exports increased from $3 million in 1980 to $292.39 billion in 2018, an average annual growth rate of 35.3 percent.

A major agricultural products exporting province, Shandong was the country's first demonstration province for the quality and safety of exported food and agricultural products.

Its export of agricultural products has ranked first in the country for 20 years in a row.

The province has been an active participant in the Belt and Road Initiative. It has advanced infrastructural connectivity, increased the density of sea routes connecting Qingdao Port and 15 ports involved in the BRI, and the number of sister ports has risen to 20.

In 2018, the imports and exports, outbound investment, and foreign contracted projects between Shandong and countries and regions involved in the BRI accounted for 26.9 percent, 27.4 percent and 60.2 percent of the province's total.

The China-Europe freight train service, a significant part of the Belt and Road Initiative, was launched eight years ago in Shandong and has experienced rapid growth ever since, officials said.

Taking attracting investment and talent as a key driver for pursuing high-quality development, Shandong has held several major events, like the International Summit on Innovation and Development of Youth Entrepreneurs, the first Conference of Great Business Partners, the MFA presenting Shandong event, and Shandong Week in Hong Kong.

The number of foreign-invested enterprises surged from 1 in 1981 to over 15,000 in 2018, attracting 741 investment projects from 214 Fortune Global 500 companies.

Shandong has improved policies and measures for attracting talent. At present, 73 academicians are based in Shandong.

Focusing on global allocation of resources, the province has supported enterprises in carrying out international production capacity and equipment manufacturing cooperation, and establishing their industrial chain globally.

Shandong's outbound investment expanded from $140 million in 2001 to $7.03 billion in 2018, a 49.2-fold increase and an average annual growth rate of 25.8 percent.

The turnover of its foreign contracted projects increased from $560 million in 2001 to $12.19 billion in 2018, an increase of 20.8 times and an average annual growth rate of 19.5 percent.

The province planned a China-SCO local business cooperation demonstration zone according to high standards and integrated into the China-CEEC "16+1" cooperation framework.

There are 15 economic and technological development zones at the national level and 134 at the provincial level, as well as 10 special customs regulation zones in Shandong.

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