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China pledges to improve life in Pacific countries

http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=409918

Bank Of China
Tuesday, July 25, 2017

CHINA'S One Belt One Road project heralds a new era of rapid development for Pacific countries, says the Bank of China.

The fourth largest global bank hosted representatives from eight Pacific Island countries in a tour of China last month to learn more about One Belt One Road and the opportunities it offers.

It is the first international financial seminar held by Bank of China for Pacific Island countries.

The seminar is focused on economic and social development in terms of poverty elimination, rural reform, agricultural industrialization, construction of industrial park and SMEs development.

China's President Xi Jinping has called one Belt One Road "the project of the century", with a vision to spend close to $US1 trillion ($F2t) on trade, cooperation and infrastructure along the old Silk Road trade route from China to Europe overland (the belt) and along China's maritime shipping routes (the road).

One Belt One Road is about promoting cooperation and working to build a community of shared interests and responsibility.

It is underpinned by five main pillars — policy coordination; facilities connectivity; unimpeded trade; financial integration; and people to people bonds.

Countries attending the seminar were Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Samoa, Tonga, the Cook Islands and Niue.

Ministers of Finance, Ministers of Commerce and Trade, senior managers from financial institutions and trade associations and large corporations visited Beijing and Shanghai.

David Lei Wang, CEO of Bank of China (New Zealand) Ltd said: "Relations between China and Pacific countries are entering a new period of rapid development.

"We are inviting Pacific countries to get on the express train of China's development and improve their social and economic outcomes.'

The seminar discussed China development patterns and practices, infrastructure construction, agricultural development, SME development, sustainable development, environmental protection, green tourism, international economic and financial situation and other topics.

Minister of Finance and Administration of the FSM, Ms Shina Lawrence, in her speech, said that the seminar was a platform to strengthen cooperation and achieve sustainable development.

During their stay in China, the Pacific Island representatives visited Donghai bridge, Yangshan deepwater port, Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries, The Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China and Taicaing modern agriculture Parkto get a deeper understanding of their operations.

Representatives also visited cultural sites including the Forbidden City, the Great Wall and the National Grand Theatre.

A number of infrastructure projects are already in progress through One Belt One Road, including an agreement for technical assistance from China to help develop Samoa's sports facilities, which was sealed during a visit by the Vice Foreign Minister of China Zheng Zeguang to Samoa in May 2017.

Key areas for cooperation between China and Samoa and investment include trade, tourism and infrastructure

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