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Belt and Road Initiative: Brighter Shared Future for All, Including Fiji

There are 9 countries in the South Pacific region that have signed memorandum of understanding with China on cooperation within the Belt and Road framework, including Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and New Zealand.
28 Apr 2019 16:12
Belt and Road Initiative: Brighter Shared Future for All, Including Fiji
President Xi Jinping and foreign leaders enter the China National Convention Center in Beijing to attend the opening ceremony of the Second Belt and Road Forum on April 26, 2019. Photo: Xinhua

Since its inception in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has won positive responses from numerous countries and international organizations and has attracted worldwide attention. By the end of March 2019, China had signed 173 cooperation agreements with 125 countries and 29 international organisations.

There are 9 countries in the South Pacific region that have signed memorandum of understanding with China on cooperation within the Belt and Road framework, including Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and New Zealand.

The Belt and Road Initiative has turned ideas into actions and vision into reality, and the initiative itself into a public product widely welcomed by the international community.

Solid progress

Over the past six years, the Initiative has advanced in solid steps, significant progress has been made. Participating countries have obtained tangible benefits, and their appreciation of and participation in the initiative is growing.

  • A broad consensus has been reached. Its core concepts have been written into documents from the United Nations, G20 and APEC.

More and more countries and international organizations have signed intergovernmental cooperation agreements on the Belt and Road Initiative.

  • Infrastructure connectivity has been enhanced. Six major economic corridors connect the Asian economic circle with the European economic circle.

By the end of 2018, China-Europe rail service had connected 108 cities in 16 countries in Asia and Europe. A total of 13,000 trains had carried more than 1.1 million TEUs.

  • Unimpeded trade has been promoted.

A network of free trade areas has taken shape, with goods trade between China and other Belt and Road countries reaching 1.3 trillion U.S. dollars in 2018, up 16.4 percent year on year.

  • Financial integration has been strengthened. Financing programs jointly launched by the People’s Bank of China and multilateral development institutions has topped 100 and covered over 70 countries and regions.

The RMB’s functions as a currency for international payment, investment, trade, and reserve have been strengthened.

  • People-to-people ties have become closer.

The Belt and Road countries have carried out diplomatic activities and cultural exchanges of various forms in wide fields, fruitful results have been achieved in education, tourism and visa exemption, health and medicine, and poverty reduction.

  • New growth drivers have been built.

From 2013 to 2018, China’s direct investment in the areas surpassed 90 billion U.S. dollars, and the turnover of contracted projects topped 400 billion dollars. It has signed agreements on industrial cooperation with more than 40 countries.

Contribution to the world

With a view to building a global community of shared future, the BRI has made a constructive contribution to the reform of the current global governance system and to economic globalisation.

The BRI is not a zero-sum game which results in the win of one party and the loss of the other.

Rather, it is meant for mutual benefits and win-win and all-win outcomes.

Over the past six years, the BRI co- operation has seen significant progress and fruitful results.

East Africa now has its first motorway; the Maldives has built its first cross-sea bridge; Kazakhstan has gained access to the Pacific for the first time; high-speed railways are under construction in Southeast Asia; and the China-Europe Railway Express has become the longest- distance freight train service on the Eurasian continent.

The 82 cooperation parks jointly built by China and other participation countries have created about 300,000 jobs for host countries.

Developed countries

Some developed countries are also actively engaged in third-market cooperation with China.

According to the quantitative trade model of a World Bank study, the Belt and Road Initiative will increase the GDP of East Asian and Pacific developing countries by 2.6-3.9 percent on average.

Road to brighter future

Today’s world is in a stage of major developments, transformation and adjustment.

Theme

Peace, development and cooperation remain the themes of the times.

Looking into the future, in pursuing the BRI, China will face many problems and challenges, as well as unprecedented opportunities and prospects for development.

We believe that with the passing of time and the synergy of all parties, Belt and Road cooperation will definitely become deep and concrete, steady and extensive.

The Belt and Road will become a road of peace, prosperity, opening up, green development, innovation, connected civilisations, and clean government.

It will make economic globalization become more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial to all.

Belt and Road Forum

Currently, the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation is being held in China, gathering representatives from around the world, including three Ministers from Fiji, to draw up a blueprint for future cooperation.

Looking forward, we will continue to progress towards high-quality development through global pragmatic cooperation.

We will enhance trilateral cooperation and encourage cooperation among all participating countries in third markets, achieving win-win results for all.

We hope Fiji will seize the opportunities of BRI and join hands with China to make a greater contribution to the China-Fiji comprehensive strategic partnership.

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

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