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The northern Chinese port city of Tianjin saw its foreign trade surge 17.5 percent year on year to 184.9 billion yuan (about 28.5 billion U.S. dollars) in the first quarter of this year, data from Tianjin Customs showed.

The city's imports rose 5.7 percent year on year to about 105 billion yuan and exports climbed to approximately 80 billion yuan, up 37.5 percent over the same period last year.

Imports of agricultural products, as well as mechanical and electrical products, registered strong performances, respectively accounting for 38.3 percent and 42.6 percent of the city's total in the first quarter.

Exports of labor-intensive products including textiles, furniture, plastic products, and mechanical and electrical products continued to record robust growth.

Tianjin's imports and exports with its major trading partners such as the European Union, the United States, the Republic of Korea and Japan saw expansion, and foreign trade with countries along the Belt and Road rose by 9 percent.

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