CHENGDU – The foreign trade volume of Southwest China’s Sichuan province rose 10.7 percent to 159.04 billion yuan ($22.49 billion) in the first quarter of the year, according to customs data released Thursday.

In the first quarter, the province did exports totalling 80.12 billion yuan, up 1.2 percent year-on-year and its imports grew 22.3 percent to 78.92 billion yuan, according to the Chengdu customs.

Foreign-funded enterprises in the province reported a 17.9 percent year-on-year growth in foreign trade in the first three months of the year.

Mechanical and electrical products have been the dominant products for export in the first quarter this year, accounting for 85.3 percent of the province’s total export. In terms of imports, agricultural products and food saw the fastest growth.

Sichuan has seen a major rise in its foreign trade with central and eastern European countries due to the more frequent China-Europe rail service since the COVID-19 outbreak. The province’s trade with countries along the Belt and Road also rose 37.7 percent year-on-year.

China has rolled out a string of policies to help foreign trade firms resume operation amid further containment of COVID-19 at home.

The firms have been advancing work and production resumption in an orderly manner, with more than 76 percent of key firms in the sector having recovered over 70 percent of their production capacity as of April 9, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

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