|China's trade with Maritime Silk Road countries rises 18 pct annually|
China's trade with countries along the Maritime Silk Road grew by an average of 18.2 percent annually over the past decade, accounting for 20 percent of the country's total foreign trade volume from the 14.6 percent ten years ago.
During the same time frame, Chinese companies' direct investment in these countries increased from 240 million U.S. dollars to 9.27 billion U.S. dollars, representing annual growth of 44 percent, according to figures from the State Oceanic Administration (SOA).
SOA director Wang Hong said an action plan will advance the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiative this year, and set up a China-ASEAN maritime cooperation center and a platform to boost maritime cooperation in East Asia.
The 21st Century Maritime Silk Road was a part of the Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013 with an aim of reviving the ancient trade routes and strengthening regional inter-communication.
It is designed to go from China's coast to Europe through the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean in one route, and from China's coast through the South China Sea to the South Pacific in the other.