China says Belt and Road Initiative remains strong despite Covid 19
China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has reportedly not been affected by the global Covid-19 pandemic and most projects under the scheme have continued.
Chinese Chargé d’Affaires to Malaysia Tang Rui has been quoted as saying in the local media recently that the project was one of the most important of the decade.
The Daily News has quoted the Chinese official as saying recently, “Ever since it’s initiation in 2013 the BRI has quickly earned the trust and support of the international community. It is one of the most essential channels of international cooperation.”
“It is designed to connect and it has delivered. BRI has managed to effectively connect policy, trade, infrastructure, and people from many countries.”
According to the news report, although BRI projects were impeded by the pandemic the vast majority remain operational.
Under the BRI framework, there are more than 200 initiatives with the active participation of 138 countries and 13 international organisations.
Rui has made these comments at the International Forum on a New and Inclusive Asia held digitally last month. The event was co-organised by Verite Research.
In 2020 for the first three quarters, the trade between China and BRI countries has beaten the downward trend and had reached 6.75 trillion yuan with a year to year growth of 1.5%.
Growth of trade with BRI countries is higher than the overall trade growth volume of China. Chinese FDI into BRI countries has reached US$ 13 billion which represents an increase of 70.7%.
Rui has said, “With the downturn pressure of the global economy it might be more difficult to concert the development policies of BRI countries.”
Sri Lanka figures very prominently in China’s Belt and Road Initiative. This would increase Sri Lanka’s positioning as a business hub in the South Asian region. Sri Lanka’s geographical positioning in the Indian Ocean and the many trade agreements as well as trade concessions enjoyed by the country have placed the island in an attractive position as a business/investment destination in the South Asian region. Foreign businesses/investors interested in doing business with China could look at setting up base in Sri Lanka. Foreign businesses/investors could therefore explore business opportunities in Sri Lanka.
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