Econ­omy

Se­nior of­fi­cials say that new mo­men­tum to stim­u­late re­gion, part­ners’ economies

China Daily (USA) - - TOP NEWS - By ZHONGNANin Xi’an zhong­nan@chi­nadaily.com.cn

China’s ex­pand­ing Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive will fur­ther in­te­grate with the devel­op­ment pro­grams of part­ner coun­tries— in­clud­ing In­done­sia’s Maritime Power Strat­egy — for a new growth mo­men­tum to boost the re­gion’s econ­omy, se­nior gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials said on Mon­day.

Vice-Min­is­ter of Com­merce Fang Aiqing said the part­ners were mostly emerg­ing economies and de­vel­op­ing na­tions in the midst of in­dus­tri­al­iza­tion, char­ac­ter­ized by fast eco­nomic growth and of­fer­ing enor­mous po­ten­tial for fu­ture devel­op­ment.

“China needs to link the ini­tia­tive fur­ther with the coun­tries’ strate­gies in­clud­ing Mon­go­lia’s Silk Road on the Steppes Pro­gram, Kaza­khstan’s Glo­ri­ous Road New Eco­nomic Pol­icy, South Korea’s Euroa­sia Ini­tia­tive, and In­dia’s Route Plan,” said Fang.

The in­fra­struc­ture, ser­vice and trade net­work pro­posed by China in 2013 en­vi­sions a Silk Road Eco­nomic Belt and a 21st Cen­tury Maritime Silk Road, cov­er­ing about 4.4 bil­lion peo­ple in more than 60 coun­tries and re­gions in Asia, Europe and Africa.

The trade vol­ume be­tween China and coun­tries and re­gions along the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive to­taled $446 bil­lion in the first half of 2016, ac­count­ing for 26 per­cent of China’s to­tal for­eign trade dur­ing the same pe­riod, data from the Min­istry of Com­merce showed.

Fang said ne­go­ti­a­tions on bi­lat­eral in­vest­ment treaties were also pick­ing up pace, and China was will­ing to deepen eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion in­clud­ing start­ing free trade agree­ment talks and es­tab­lish­ing cross-bor­der in­dus­trial parks with more coun­tries and re­gions along these two trad­ing routes.

China in­vested $51.1 bil­lion in to­tal in these coun­tries and re­gions from Jan­uary to June this year, ac­count­ing for 12 per­cent of China’s over­seas di­rect in­vest­ment.

“The ini­tia­tive is a pur­suit not to es­tab­lish China’s own sphere of in­flu­ence, but to sup­port com­mon devel­op­ment of all coun­tries and re­gions along these two trad­ing routes,” said He Lifeng, vice-min­is­ter of the Na­tional Devel­op­ment and Re­form Com­mis­sion.

The direc­tor of the Cen­ter for China Stud­ies in Nige­ria, Charles Onunaiju, said in­fra­struc­ture in­ter­con­nec­tion was iden­ti­fied as the pri­or­ity of Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive con­struc­tion.

He said due em­pha­sis was placed on large trans­porta­tion projects dur­ing the con­struc­tion of all the six eco­nomic cor­ri­dors — such as the China-Pak­istan Eco­nomic Cor­ri­dor and the China-Cen­tral and West Asian Eco­nomic Cor­ri­dors— un­der the frame­work.

“Large-scale in­fra­struc­ture pro­grams have also been rolled out by coun­tries along these two trad­ing routes,” said Onunaiju.

XIN­HUA

A vis­i­tor to a trade fair in Harbin, cap­i­tal of Hei­longjiang province, pho­to­graphs a woman in tra­di­tional Rus­sian cos­tume.

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