Leaders view Belt and Road Initiative to benefit all
Delivering speeches at the high-level plenary meeting of the ongoing forum on the Belt and Road initiative, world and major organization leaders have been highlighting the importance of the project.
Key aspects are seen as connectivity of policy, infrastructure, trade, finance and people to people exchanges.
Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli addresses a high-level dialogue of the Belt and Road Forum (BRF) for International Cooperation in Beijing, capital of China, May 14, 2017. [Photo: Xinhua/Wang Ye]
Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli made the introductory speech at the plenary meeting
"President Xi Jinping's keynote speech at the opening ceremony on Sunday gave an in-depth elaboration on the content of the Silk Road spirit, reviewed the fruitful achievements made in Belt and Road projects, and described the great prospects and direction of further constructions in five aspects of building the Belt and Road into a road for peace, a road of prosperity, a road of opening up, a road of innovation and a road connecting different civilizations,” said Zhang Gaoli.
Russian president Vladimir Putin is one of the key world leaders attending the first Belt and Road forum.
Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing, capital of China, May 14, 2017. [Photo: Xinhua/Pang Xinglei]
Speaking at the meeting, he described the Initiative as an example of cooperation in such fields as infrastructure, transport and industry, saying his country supported the initiative from the very beginning.
Putin further explained that the international community needs an innovative and constructive future, as the logic of old approaches cannot solve any of the current problems.
"I am convinced Eurasia is capable of developing a positive and informative agenda. It concerns security, development of relations between states, organization of the economy, social sphere, management systems, and a search for new drivers of growth. We should show the international community an example of an innovative, constructive future based on justice, equality, and respect for national sovereignty, norms of international law, and the unshakable principles of the United Nations. However, in order to realize this agenda, desire and will alone are not enough, real instruments of such interaction are required. And they can only be created within the framework of integration,” he said.
Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, pointed out that the developing world now regards China as a reliable ally in fighting against poverty and pursuing prosperity.
"The Belt and Road Initiative is inherently aligned to Africa's vision for integration, industrialization and sustainable development. Through its engagement with Africa over the past two decades, China continues playing a crucial role in promoting inter-connectivity within the continent, and between China and Africa. BRI will even further strengthen these engagements by enhancing Africa's cooperation with countries along the corridor,” he added.
From the perspective of international organizations, World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim believes, investing in countries along the Belt and Road can bring enormous opportunity.
"President Xi this morning talked a lot about win-win situations, and probably the most exciting win-win situation in the world today is the fact that there are over 40 trillion dollars in the world, 40 trillion dollars of capital, earning one percent or less, eight and half trillion dollars in the world are invested in negative interest-rate bonds; We feel that crowding in that capital offers an enormous opportunity in investing in countries along the Belt and Road will be one of the best ways of bringing that capital into the development world,” he said.
Jim Yong Kim said the World Bank would sign a Memorandum of Understanding among many multilateral development banks to support the initiative.
Under the theme "strengthening international cooperation and co-building the 'Belt and Road' for win-win development," the forum is held from May 14 to 15 in Beijing.