Trade between China and Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) partners reached nearly $12 trillion by the end of August 2022, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said in a statement published on the ministry’s website.

During the same period, non-financial direct investment from China to BRI countries exceeded $140 billion, he noted.

Wenbin said Chinese companies had invested more than $43 billion in overseas economic and trade cooperation zones in BRI partner countries and created more than 340,000 local jobs by end-2021.

The official said that Belt and Road cooperation has not paused despite COVID-19, with key projects, including the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway, Budapest-Belgrade Railway and China-Thailand Railway, making steady progress.

He also added that more than a third of key infrastructure projects under construction in partner countries and regions have embraced Chinese standards.

Wenbin said BRI had extended beyond the traditional economic and trade cooperation model with the development of a ‘Silk Road of health,’ ‘Green Silk Road’ and ‘Digital Silk Road’ well underway.

Additionally, China has signed authorised economic operator (AEO) mutual recognition agreements with more than 30 partner countries and regions so far, the official said.

(Writing by P Deol; Editing by Anoop Menon)