SCIENTIA GEOGRAPHICA SINICA ›› 2023, Vol. 43 ›› Issue (4): 629-637.doi: 10.13249/j.cnki.sgs.2023.04.006

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Impact of connectivity on China's international trade: Taking countries along "the Belt and Road" as examples

Jiao Jingjuan1(), Ma Wangyuqing1, Li Hongchang1, Bu Wei1, Wang Jiaoe2,3()   

  1. 1. School of Economics and Management, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing 100044, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
    3. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2022-01-10 Revised:2022-10-17 Online:2023-04-30 Published:2023-04-20
  • Contact: Wang Jiaoe;
  • Supported by:
    Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities(B22JBZX00010);National Natural Science Foundation of China(42271184);National Natural Science Foundation of China(42071147)


Transport infrastructure interconnection (hereinafter referred to as "connectivity") includes both physical (hard) connectivity of infrastructure and operational (soft) connectivity of transport organizations, mainly serving the movement of people and trade in goods. The implementation of “the Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI) has improved connectivity between China and BRI countries, affecting bilateral trade between the countries. Taking the bilateral trade of goods between China and the BRI countries during 2008 to 2018 as the research objects, this paper constructs a panel regression model, respectively from whether the traffic facilities are connected and its connectivity level both quantitative evaluation and measure the level of different types of traffic infrastructure interconnectivity of goods trade along the "threshold effect" and "agglomeration effect". Results indicate that: 1) The improvement of connectivity has a positive effect on goods trade; 2) Different modes of transportation have a great difference in the impact of bilateral goods trade, among which, Marine transport have the greatest impact, followed by road and aviation transport, and the operation impact of the China-Europe express train was still not prominent; 3) There are also significant differences in the sectoral impact of different modes of transport on bilateral goods trade. The results could provide a reasonable analysis and explanation for the spillover of improved transport connectivity in bilateral goods trade, and also provide enlightenment for how China could enhance bilateral goods trade with BRI countries.

Key words: the Belt and Road Initiative, connectivity, goods trade, threshold effect, agglomeration effect

CLC Number: 

  • F532.3