BEIJING, Feb 16 — China’s Belt and Road initiative will not only benefit the regions along the proposed Belt and Road routes, but also to the rest of the world, China’s official think-tank said.
Development Research Centre of China’s State Council vice-president and senior research fellow Long Guoqiang said the initiative was an open cooperation with long-term effects.
“We have identified infrastructure connectivity and cooperation as priority, and economic and trade cooperation as major areas,” he told a press briefing on the development and trend of China’s economy and economic policy, here Tuesday.
He said in a short period of two years, the initiative was well received by the international community, while its institutional arrangement, namely the establishment of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank was in progress.
Long said the Belt and Road initiative would promote regional development as well as give impetus to global economic development.
“For example, (when) we launch infrastructure projects, we create opportunities for trade and investment for other countries as well, like exporting equipment. It brings benefits not only to the regions but also to the world at large,” he said.
The Belt and Road initiative is the brainchild of Chinese president Xi Jinping in an effort to enhance cooperation, including trade and investment, policy coordination, strategic alignment, financial cooperation, cultural as well as people to people exchange.
Long brushed aside a suggestion the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was designed to contain China.
He said instead, the TPP was the latest form of regional cooperation as it was armed with unique characteristics, while its members included the world’s largest economy and third largest economy, namely the US and Japan.
“Secondly, it created many new rules, including labour and environmental standards, competitive neutrality and state-owned enterprises, which were defined as new issues of the 21st century,” he said.
Long said regional trade cooperation arrangements were popular these days with 10 pacts signed each year, unlike back in the 90s where only six arrangements were concluded each year.
There could be about 600 such arrangements if both investment and trade agreements were separated, he added.