BEIJING, Sept. 8, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Ten years have passed since China proposed the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a project aimed at promoting participating countries’ development and global economic growth through cooperation and connectivity.
To commemorate BRI’s 10th anniversary and plan high-quality Belt and Road cooperation with all partners, China has decided to hold the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in October, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
The BRI, a reference to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road, was initiated by China in 2013 to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa and beyond the ancient Silk Road trade routes.
A decade of practice has demonstrated that it has become an important global public good, and China shares its development dividend with countries and the world as a whole in pursuit of prosperity.
‘A message of goodwill’
Over the past 10 years, China has signed more than 200 cooperation documents on the joint construction of the Belt and Road with 152 countries and 32 international organizations, covering 83 percent of the countries with which China has established diplomatic relations, according to the National Development and Reform Commission, China’s national economic planner.
Figures have proven that BRI cooperation has brought tangible benefits to both China and the participating countries.
Once a long-stalled project, the Gwadar Port in Pakistan is on its way to becoming a regional hub of connectivity benefiting Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia after Chinese enterprises took over.
It has been constructed as a key development area of BRI’s flagship project the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
The port has handled more than 600,000 tonnes of cargo over the past 14 months. More than 30 enterprises related to overseas warehouses, fisheries processing, edible oil processing, furniture manufacturing, electric vehicle assembly, trade and logistics have been settled in the first phase of the Free Zone of the Gwadar Port.
“The BRI … is a message of goodwill from China to other developing countries. It allows emerging economies to learn from China and to seize the opportunities presented by China’s sharing of the dividends of development,” said Adhere Cavince, a Kenyan scholar of international relations.
‘A game changer’ in global arena
The BRI, formed as a new platform for international economic cooperation, has acted as a strong impetus to facilitate poverty alleviation, promote trans-regional connectivity and boost advancement of new economy.
Official data showed that under the 3,000 BRI cooperation projects, around 420,000 jobs were created, lifting nearly 40 million people out of poverty.
According to the World Bank, by 2030, BRI transport infrastructure, if fully implemented, is expected to increase global real income by between 0.7 and 2.9 percent, lifting 7.6 million people from extreme poverty and 32 million people from moderate poverty.
Infrastructure connectivity between regions and continents has also become more accessible through Belt and Road cooperation.
The China-Europe Railway Express has reached 211 cities in 25 European countries, and the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor, has connected China’s central and western regions with more than 300 ports in over 100 countries.
Meanwhile, BRI partners have worked actively to carry out international cooperation in emerging areas, such as digital economy. The Digital Silk Road, as part of the BRI, is becoming a digital bridge facilitating a new type of globalization.
“In past 10 years, the BRI was a game changer in the global arena, bringing more multilateralism in the world than before and also creating better conditions for the countries that are on the direction of this initiative,” Boris Tabic, former president of Serbia, told CGTN.