Free Trade Zones

The BRI to foster confidence in economic cooperation

A Chinese engineer (right) from the Beijing-based China Construction Second Engineering Bureau gives instructions to a local worker at a construction site for a bulk water supply pipeline in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2020. [Provided to China Daily]

China’s unwavering efforts to promote the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative will give the international community more confidence and strength in global economic cooperation despite rising uncertainties and external challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic and geopolitical strife, analysts and experts said.

The BRI, the world’s largest platform for international cooperation with a growing number of members, is expected to contribute more to global economic recovery, they said.

They made the remarks after Sheng Qiuping, Deputy Minister of Commerce, said at a recent press conference in Beijing that the country will continue to promote high-quality global cooperation under the BRI framework by working to consolidate the fundamentals of the initiative, expand new areas of cooperation. and build flagship projects.

“We will further tap the potential of trade with economies along the Belt and Road and encourage more imports of quality goods. We will continue to expand tripartite and multi-party cooperation in markets to promote smooth connectivity between industrial and supply chains,” Sheng said. noted. “We will accelerate the construction of a network of free trade areas covering more BRI economies and promote the liberalization and facilitation of trade and investment.”

China will proactively promote cooperation in many fields, including digital trade, new infrastructure, new energy, energy conservation, environmental protection and green infrastructure, as countries around the world are increasingly willing to cooperate in the areas of digital economy and low-carbon economy, he said.

Analysts said the BRI is inclusive and provides a trusted international platform for countries and regions around the world to come together to seek new impetus for growth while respecting individual differences. This is particularly important as the global economy continues to suffer from strained supply chains and weakened expectations, they said.

“Under current circumstances, global economic and trade cooperation is facing greater challenges, from unstable supply chains to loss of trust in cooperation,” said Zhou Mi, senior fellow at the Academy. Chinese international trade and economic cooperation.

“The BRI is very important in facilitating the acceleration of the global economic recovery because of its inclusiveness that allows for adjustments based on these new situations,” Zhou said.

For example, China has played an important role in the global fight against the pandemic and facilitating the resumption of production and business in other countries by providing quality goods and services, thanks to its effective control of the COVID-19 and stable economic growth, he added.

Sheng said China will focus on agriculture, poverty alleviation, sanitation, health and other areas and prioritize building more “small and beautiful” projects to enhance sentiment. of gain among the inhabitants of the host countries.

At the same time, the country will actively push for China-Europe rail freight transportation to jointly develop with various cooperation zones and integrate new business models such as cross-border e-commerce and overseas warehouses.

China will also diversify cooperation mechanisms with other countries, continue to hold important international and regional exhibitions, improve the level of economic and trade exchanges and cooperation at all levels, and provide better services and guarantees. for the joint construction of the BRI. It will also promote international cooperation against the pandemic, strengthen various risk assessments, monitoring and early warnings, and better regulate the business activities of Chinese companies overseas, he said.

Wu Huimin, Managing Director of CICC Global Institute, hailed the BRI’s achievements in many areas, including green infrastructure, green energy and green finance.

Wu suggested that China expand cooperation with BRI economies in combating climate change through efforts such as proactively using green finance to increase green investment and creating a platform international green development exchange to promote global development in areas such as green energy, green technology and green manufacturing.

Efforts such as encouraging capable Chinese renewable companies to go global and play a bigger role under the green BRI should also be included, she said.

Lin Shen, a researcher at the Institute of Global Economics and Politics of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that as the world’s largest developing country, China understands the needs of a large number of developing countries along the Belt and Road in economic development.

The experiences and technologies that China has accumulated during its economic development, especially in the areas of digital economy and low-carbon economy, are particularly helpful in meeting the demand for products and services from other developing countries, while China’s huge domestic market also facilitates export growth. of BRI economies, Lin said.

Liu Haitao, project manager of bulk water supply pipeline construction with an installation company of China Construction Second Engineering Bureau for a local water supply construction project in Nairobi, Kenya, said said the potential for cooperation between China and economies along the Belt and Road is enormous. as most BRI economies have great potential for economic growth, and society sees many project opportunities in BRI economies.

The water supply construction project he is working for, when completed, will increase water supply in Nairobi by 5,000 cubic meters per day, benefiting nearly 3 million people, Mr Liu said.