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September 27, 2016

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Belt and Road initiative makes progress

CHINA’S Belt and Road initiative has made significant progress since it was proposed three years ago, according to a report issued yesterday at a seminar in Xi’an, one of the termini of the ancient Silk Road.

More than 100 countries and international bodies are involved in the initiative, and more than 30 countries along the new Silk Road have cooperation agreements with China.

The report said coordination of development strategies has begun with many countries along the routes, including Kazakhstan and Russia.

China is coordinating infrastructure standards, connecting transportation and energy infrastructure and boosting information connectivity. China has signed investment treaties with various countries along the routes and has already invested over US$50 billion.

To ensure adequate financing, China has been pushing for trade settlement in yuan, currency swaps, and other financial arrangements. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank considers projects related to the initiative as its top priority, investing US$509 million in its first four projects, all going to countries along the Belt and Road.

The initiative is a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes.


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