Saturday, April 29, 2017

Will China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ Initiative Deliver?

KATHMANDU, April 28 (Xinhua) -- Experts on Friday stressed on strong partnership between China and South Asia under the framework of China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative so as to achieve regional economic integration, prosperity, stability and create a win-win situation.

They made the remarks during a one-day seminar entitled "One Belt, One Road and South Asia" organized here by the China Study Centre.

Addressing the program, Bangladeshi expert Humayun Kabir said China and South Asian countries can find a common ground to collaborate under the Belt and Road Initiative.

"This is the era of mutual interdependence between various countries of the world. I believe that cooperation between China and South Asian region under the framework will help achieve regional economic integration, prosperity and stability by creating a win-win situation," he said.

Former Nepali Foreign Secretary Madhuraman Acharya said "The concept of the Belt and Road Initiative has brought up several new opportunities in connectivity and economic integration between China and South Asia."

Acharya said the Belt and Road Initiative has become a matter of geopolitical significance to countries in South Asia including Nepal.

Sundar Nath Bhattarai, acting chairman of the China Study Centre, said countries in South Asia and China will spare no efforts to expand mutual and inclusive cooperation.

Luxman Siriwardena, an expert from Sri Lanka, said the Belt and Road Initiative will facilitate global trade by developing infrastructures.

"As a pioneer member, Sri Lankan political leadership and policy makers strongly believe that the Belt and Road Initiative will undoubtedly contribute to the long-term socio-economic development of the country," he said.

Siriwardena said the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road will have a direct effect on Sri Lanka's trade, investment and tourism resulting in substantial contribution to the nation's economy.

Addressing the function as the chief guest, Nepali Deputy Prime Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara said the Belt and Road Initiative will benefit the entire South Asian region including Nepal.

"Nepal wants to become a part of the Belt and Road Initiative and reap benefit from this," he said.

Dr. Dai Yonghong, director of the Institute of South Asia Studies at the Sichuan University of China, said China wants active participation of all countries from South Asia region in the Belt and Road Initiative.

"The Belt and Road (Initiative) is a very good proposal for all countries around the world including South Asian countries. Cooperation between China and South Asian countries will be beneficial for the peoples of the entire region through regional economic integration," he said, adding that the concept is open and inclusive.

Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Yu Hong said the Belt and Road Initiative is the most important public product that China provides to the world.

"China welcomes the South Asian countries to participate in the Belt and Road Initiative and promote policy coordination, facilities connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration and people to people bonds as their five major goals with the principle of wide consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits," said the ambassador.

The Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by China in 2013, aims at building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes.

Source : http://english.sina.com/news/2017-04-29/detail-ifyetstt3829541.shtml

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