North China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region saw its foreign trade with countries along the Belt and Road reach 61.1 billion yuan ($9.56 billion) in 2017, up by 27.5 percent annually.
The China-Europe freight rail service, in Erlianhaote, North China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on August 20, 2018 (File photos: VCG)
The import volume was 42.21 billion yuan, an annual growth of 32.6 percent; the export volume reached 18.89 billion yuan, a growth of 17.5 percent, according to local customs.
Mongolia and Russia are the major trade partners for the region. Foreign trade between local companies and their Mongolian partners was 26.46 billion yuan in 2017, up by 42.2 percent, while foreign trade between the companies and their Russian partners reached 20.6 billion yuan, up by 12.1 percent.
Jiao Zhijun, with Hohhot customs, said 89.4 percent of the total foreign trade volume to Belt and Road countries was made by private enterprises in the region.
Agricultural products, mechanical products, steel, automobiles and hi-tech products were among the exports that saw obvious rises. Products such as coal, wood and copper, iron and lead ore were among the major imports.
Jiao said that the rising prices and demand of some bulk commodities had pushed up the import volume. Chinese hi-tech products and vehicles appeal more to countries along the Belt and Road, which has helped more made-in-China products go abroad.