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Belt and Road Initiative: Reaping Rewards Together
Text by Chen Yongjun

 

April 13, 2016: Jin Liqun (left), president of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), signs the first co-financing framework agreement with his World Bank counterpart Jim Yong Kim in Washington D.C. By May 13, 2017, 77 countries had become full member states of AIIB. Xinhua The Belt and Road Initiative offers opportunities for the Alibaba Group. In February 2014, Alibaba launched the cross-border import e-commerce platform Tmall.HK, which has already grown to become a major platform for import retail. Products from other countries can enter China’s market through this platform. This new form of cross-border e-commerce is also called the “Online Silk Road.” Xinhua

On May 14, 2017, Chinese President Xi Jinping said at the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation that the Belt and Road Initiative is rooted in the ancient Silk Road. “It focuses on the Asian, European and African continents, but is also open to all other countries,” he explained. “All countries, from either Asia, Europe, Africa or the Americas, can be international cooperation partners of the Belt and Road Initiative. The pursuit of this initiative is based on extensive consultation and its benefits will be shared by us all.”

He made it clear that opening up and cooperating to achieve mutual benefits are the heart of the Initiative. All involved parties should know from the start that the economic nature of the Initiative is producing mutual benefits. All parties can share the fruits by actively participating in cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative.

 

Supplying the Demand

In recent years, emerging economies, especially China, have become major engines for global growth. Developing countries in Asia, especially Central and Western Asia, represent a large, growing market. According to estimates from the Asian Development Bank, the annual demand for investment in infrastructure in Asia will reach as much as US$730 billion in the next six to eight years. According to the World Bank, annual demand for investment in infrastructure in Asia is about US$800 billion.

However, the total investment in Asia’s infrastructure from those two multilateral banks is only around US$30 billion every year. A huge funding gap is limiting Asia’s infrastructure construction. A shortage of investment is preventing the growth of developing countries and regions, including those in Central and West Asia. The economic demand for the Belt and Road Initiative is clear. Due to China’s economic structural transformation, the country maintains ample production capabilities, competitive technological abilities and tremendous foreign exchange reserves. This is the supply side of the Belt and Road Initiative.

The combination of apparent demand and ideal supply forms the economic foundation of the Belt and Road Initiative.

 

 

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