BEIJING, May 31 (Xinhua) -- China and countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative inked trade deals worth 389.1 billion U.S. dollars in the first four months, the Ministry of Commerce said Thursday.
It represented a growth of 19.2 percent year on year, Gao Feng, spokesperson for the ministry, told a press briefing.
China's non-financial investment in those countries increased 17.3 percent from the same period a year ago to 4.67 billion U.S. dollars.
Business volume of outbound contract projects came in at 24.2 billion U.S. dollars, up 27.7 percent year on year.
Economic integration of China and the Belt and Road countries gained steam. The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) reached between China and Georgia has become effective. China held the first round of FTA negotiations with Mauritius and the second round of FTA talks with Pakistan. It also signed an economic and trade cooperation pact with the Eurasian Economic Union.
"Construction of major projects have progressed well with a range of railways and infrastructures going smoothly," Gao said.
By the end of April, China had built 75 economic and trade cooperation zones along the Belt and Road countries with accumulated investment of 25.5 billion U.S. dollars.
More than 3,800 companies have joined the cooperation zones, paying nearly 1.7 billion U.S. dollars in tax revenue and generating nearly 220,000 jobs.
Proposed by China in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative aims to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road routes. It comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.