Source: China Daily Published: 2018-1-20
China`s outbound investment in economies participating in the Belt and Road Initiative climbed to some$70 billion between 2014 and 2017, providing more than 200,000 jobs for local people, according to a former top government official.
Zhang Xiaoqiang, former vice-chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, made the comments at a recent forum. He said the initiative also saw China`s foreign trade with Belt & Road-related economies hit more than $4 trillion between 2014 and 2017. In 2017 alone, the figure hit $1.1 trillion, accounting for 26.5 percent of the country`s total.
The Belt and Road Initiative, referring to the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, was initiated by President Xi Jinping in 2013, to promote economic cooperation among economies along the proposed Belt and Road routes, and further open markets in a mutually beneficial manner.
Speaking at the forum organized by the Guanghua School of Management at Peking University, former vice-minister of foreign affairs He Yafei reiterated that he believes the initiative will surely succeed and make the world a better place to live because it represents the future.
"The initiative helps to create a fairer and more just environment for people the world over to overcome the mounting difficulties facing globalization," he said.
Singaporean Ambassador to China Stanley Loh encouraged all economies, including the United States, to join the initiative in their own manner.
People should transform the Belt and Road Initiative from a China-proposed project into a common project benefiting all, he said.
Piriya Khempon, ambassador of Thailand to China, said the initiative will help Thailand and other developing countries to improve their infrastructure and well-being, and help them overcome the middle-income trap.
"It is going to be a common concept for everyone to join," said Khempon. "The UN, people from the West, people from Africa and Asia, are all invited to come and express their ownership."
Leonidas C. Rokanas, ambassador of Greece to China, said that now is the best time in Sino-Greek relations. He added Greece will use its unique advantages in ancient civilization, geographic location and top brain power to better connect Greece, China and the rest of the world.
"We are collaborating with China in green energy and telecommunication," Rokanas said, adding, "Going forward, there are a lot of sectors that are very promising for cooperation, such as the maritime sector."
Jose Luis Bernal, Mexican ambassador to China, said that although the North American country is not a direct participant in the initiative because of geographical factors, it has been getting involved from the very beginning.
"Now we are seeing more investments coming to different sectors, like infrastructures projects, energy and manufacturing," Bernal said.
He Yafei is a senior fellow of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China.