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24 Radio And Television Companies From OBOR Countries Inked Memorandum On Broadcast Collaboration
Countries that are involved include China, Cambodia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Tajikistan.
Under the memorandum, people-to-people exchanges, sharing of knowledge, skills, technology, program designs etc. are areas that will be strengthened. This move is likely to accelerate cultural understanding among OBOR countries through exposing audiences to a diverse culture and news.
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Shaanxi Province Released “One Belt One Road” Action Plan
The People’s Government of Shaanxi Province has released an action plan in regard to One Belt One Road, with detailed work assignments in strengthening areas such as physical connectivity, cultural exchanges, trade cooperation, as well as economy openness.
In promoting greater connectivity, Shaanxi will intensify the air access to the West by increasing flights in extended destinations, including Almaty, Istanbul, Rome, Los Angeles and more. Furthermore, construction of a railway logistics hub in Xi’an will begin this year.
As for cultural exchange, Shaanxi will be starting its very own train services connecting Xi’an and Urumqi.
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Bilateral Trade Between China And OBOR Countries Dropped by 9.5%
According to Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesman Shen Danyang, from January to May, bilateral trade between China and OBOR countries amounted to $398.3 billion, marking a decrease by 9.5% year-on-year (yoy), which is equivalent to 25.8% of China’s total bilateral trade.
Chinese exports to OBOR countries have increased by 2%, hitting $243.9 billion and accounting for 27.7% of the country’s total exports. On the other hand, Chinese imports from OBOR countries have decreased by 23.2%, amounting to $154.4 billion, about 23.3% of the total imports by China.
Number of foreign-invested enterprises based in OBOR countries has hit a new 767 high, also representing an increase of 14.31%. Foreign invested capital from OBOR countries totaled to $2.9billion with an increase of 11.59%. Chinese enterprises have invested a total of $4.86 billion in 48 OBOR countries and regions, representing an increase of 3.7%.
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Chinese Provinces Signed Customs Deal Boosting Belt And Road Initiatives
Guangdong and Guangxi Exit-Entry Inspection and Quarantine Bureaus signed a memorandum streamlining the customs clearance process, in an effort to boost trade activities in Beibu Gulf Zone with OBOR countries.
Each bureau is held responsible for its individual quarantined goods, and the customs will release goods directly at the port when given the green light.
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Supporting OBOR, CITIS’s First Tour To Kazan Sets Off
Organised by the China International Travel Service Limited Head Office (CITS), a tour to Kazan in Russia has set off from Beijing on 6th July. This is the first time that a tour package with Kazan as the main destination has been marketed by a domestic travel agency.
CITS has carefully designed this package in support of governmental policy “One Belt One Road” (OBOR), as well as to commemorate the 70th anniversary of victory in World War II. CITS’s move is deemed as a significant step towards enhancing people-to-people exchanges along the Silk Road land route, and strengthening “red tourism” (cultural tourism) cooperation with Russia.
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Antwerp Sets Up Working Group To Support OBOR Projects
The port of Antwerp, Europe’s 2nd largest port, has set up a working group to facilitate projects related to Chinese development strategy “One Belt One Road”.
The Port Authority has inked cooperation agreement with China Development Bank and Chengtong Holdings Group to construct a China-Europe-Africa trade and logistics centre.
What We Think:
Analysts often view “One Belt One Road” as a tool in reviving the sluggish world economy by paving ways to boost international trade. This week’s news published on 7th July indicates how provincial governments can promote a conducive business environment for both local and overseas enterprises, which in turn boosts trade activities.
Guangdong and Guangxi’s move to simplify complicated customs clearance processes reduces time cost brought about by bureaucracy. This will enhance their attractiveness as destinations for setting up businesses and for trading. Other provinces could also have a follow suit. With collective effort, China is more likely to experience a greater increase in foreign direct investment (FDI), and this will also act as a bolster to China’s declining bilateral trade with OBOR countries, as reported on 7th July.