WUHAN – Central China’s Hubei province saw robust growth in foreign trade during the first quarter of 2021, as the province consolidated its recovery from setbacks caused by the COVID-19 outbreak last year, according to the local customs authority.
The total import and export value reached 117.46 billion yuan (about $18.1 billion) in the first quarter, up 88.1 percent year on year, data from Wuhan Customs showed.
The provincial capital of Wuhan, once hardest hit by COVID-19, saw its foreign trade reach 76.23 billion yuan, accounting for 64.9 percent of the provincial total.
The trade conducted by private enterprises totaled 64.74 billion yuan, up 134.9 percent year on year, accounting for 55.1 percent of the province’s total import and export value.
During the period, the province’s trade with major trading partners, including the European Union, the United States, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and Japan, reached 17.26 billion yuan, 16.11 billion yuan, 15.11 billion yuan and 11.06 billion yuan, respectively, up 125.1 percent, 166.9 percent, 96.9 percent and 87.1 percent year on year.
The foreign trade volume between Hubei and the countries along the Belt and Road continued to increase, reaching 29.01 billion yuan, up by 91.6 percent. Meanwhile, the figure for Hubei’s imports and exports with members of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership rose to 35.51 billion yuan, up 70.3 percent.
The exports of textiles and clothing in Hubei, including anti-pandemic supplies, grew strongly in the first quarter. The export value of textile products reached 2.62 billion yuan, up by 74 percent, while that of clothing totaled 5.39 billion yuan, up by 212.2 percent.
The growth of imports was boosted mostly by mechanical and electronic products, which accounted for 64.1 percent of the whole.