Tropical Geography ›› 2019, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (6): 855-868.doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.003201

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Foreign Trade and Its Influencing Factors between China and Countries along “the Belt and Road” Route

Xu Yanggui1, Liu Yungang2()   

  1. 1. School of Geography and Planning, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
    2. School of Geography, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China
  • Received:2019-09-23 Revised:2019-11-21 Online:2019-11-10 Published:2019-12-26
  • Contact: Liu Yungang E-mail:ygliu@scnu.edu.cn

Abstract:

This study explores the trade pattern and influencing factors between China and countries along “ the Belt and Road” route using the gravity model of trade. With the implementation of China’s “the Belt and Road” initiative, the growing trade between China and countries along “the Belt and Road” route gradually became the principal measured standard of the achievements of the “the Belt and Road” initiative and an essential sign of implementing the concept of “the Belt and Road” initiative. Based on the five types of connectivity of “the Belt and Road” initiative, including connectivity of policy, infrastructure, trade, finance, and people, we unravel the factors influencing the trade between China and countries along “the Belt and Road” route and conduct a quantitative analysis of the factors. This study found that the total trade volume in the total import and export between China and countries along “the Belt and Road” route is influenced by the level of economic development, the size of each country’s market, the political system, accessibility and convenience of trade, and China’s foreign direct investment and non-governmental exchange and cooperation. Among these, China’s foreign direct investment shows hysteresis in promoting trade development between China and countries along “the Belt and Road” route. Because of each country’s different economic policies, trade policies, and international relations, the delay period between China’s foreign direct investment and trade development could differ. China’s foreign direct investment in countries along “the Belt and Road” route, however, has the most positive effect two years after the investment flowing into the host country. This study also found that China’s foreign direct investment has various effects on the total trade volume in the total import and export between China and countries along “the Belt and Road” route. They can be divided into four types: strong driving, driving, general, and insufficient driving. The countries in the strong driving type and driving type are in Southeast Asia, western Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa. This study enriches the domestic empirical research on the influencing factors of foreign trade between China and countries along “the Belt and Road” route, helps to improve the efficiency of Chinese enterprises’ overseas investment, and contributes to promoting the communication on economics and trade between China and countries along “the Belt and Road” route. This study also puts forward the view that China’s foreign direct investment shows hysteresis in promoting trade development. Future research could focus on the differences of the delay period in different industries between China’s foreign direct investment and the economic and trade development in the host country, exploring ways to shorten the delay period from the policy perspective and better promote the implementation of “the Belt and Road” initiative.

Key words: “the Belt and Road”, trade, foreign direct investment, the gravity model of trade, China, countries along “ the Belt and Road”

CLC Number: 

  • F125