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B&R boosts trade and investment

Author  :  WEI YINGQI and ZHU YINGQUN     Source  :    Chinese Social Sciences Today     2019-06-07

Experts shed light on economic and trade cooperation under the Belt and Road (B&R) initiative at a CASS Forum in Beijing on May 20.

After nearly six years of development, the B&R has evolved from concept to action, from vision to reality, with achievements beyond expectations, said Gao Xiang, vice president of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). The direction for the B&R remains highquality development. To this end, it is necessary to advance trade and investment liberalization, with a focus on building global interconnected partnerships. As such, the dovetailing of the strategies of countries along the route is key.

High-quality B&R construction is committed to integrating the regional development plans of APEC, ASEAN, the African Union, the Eurasian Economic Union, the European Union and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, Gao said. The B&R not only deepens bilateral strategic docking, but also strengthens the integration of regional and international development.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has delivered an important message in his key-note speech at the opening ceremony of the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, said Zhang Yuyan, director of the Institute of World Economics and Politics (IWEP) at CASS. The message is as follows: that China is a firm supporter of the concept of trade liberalization; that it must continuously enhance the level of its opening up, and that its opening up is an independent choice based on the needs of its own reform and development; that B&R construction is mainly based on bilateral cooperation and has begun to transform into a multilateral cooperation mechanism; and finally that China will place more emphasis on promoting B&R construction based on international rules universally supported by all parties.

Unlike other regional economic cooperation mechanisms that are rules-oriented, B&R construction is development-oriented, committed to solving the development problems for developing countries and always starting from the actual developmental needs of all countries, said Li Xiangyang, director of the National Institute of International Strategy at CASS.

Promoting a diversified cooperation mechanism, B&R construction is committed to building a community of shared future based on the community of interests and the community of responsibility, Li continued. The B&R will inject new momentum into the world’s economic growth.

Branislav Dor?evi?, director of the Institute of International Politics and Economics in Serbia, gave a detailed account of Serbia’s cooperation with China in trade and investment. Since the B&R initiative was proposed, China and Central and Eastern European countries have developed closer relations and strengthened their economic and trade cooperation, he said. The two sides should work together to overcome differences in conditions and in ideas, navigate narrow national interests, and regard each other as indispensable parts of a whole.

Bouchra Rahmouni, a senior fellow at the Policy Center for the New South in Morocco, highlighted the progress of China-Africa economic and trade cooperation under the B&R. She said that B&R cooperation has deepened the links between China and the countries along the route and increased the trade between Morocco and China. The B&R is an important channel for China and Africa to maintain sustained and stable cooperation, exerting a positive impact on Africa’s economic growth.

IWEP Deputy Director Song Hong elaborated on the development prospects of the apparel and textile industry. China’s apparel and textile industry is developing rapidly and has a large export volume. The Lancang-Mekong River region, its neighboring countries, and countries along the B&R are the main destinations for Chinese investment. For developing countries in Asia, foreign investment can be attracted through laborintensive industries to enhance the regional value chain.

 

(Edited by Jiang Hong)

Editor: Yu Hui

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