THE BELT AND ROAD INITIATIVE CREATES NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR BANGLADESH’S DEVELOPMENT
M A MINGQIANG
In 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping put forward the initiative of jointly building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road (hereinafter referred to as the Belt and Road), which has attracted close attention from all over the world. Building the Belt and Road is the continuation and development of the ancient Silk Road.
More than 2000 years ago the diligent and courageous people of Eurasia opened up several routes of trade and cultural exchanges that were collectively called the Silk Road. The Silk Road linked and promoted the ancient civilizations along the Yellow and Yangtze River with the Ganges River and contributed to the prosperity and development of the region. History told us that the Silk Road is a road of peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit.
Given the fact that the world today is undergoing profound and complex changes, the initiative is aimed at promoting orderly and free flow of economic factors, highly efficient allocation of resources and deep integration of markets; encouraging the countries along the Belt and Road to achieve economic policy coordination and carry out broader and more in-depth regional cooperation of higher standards; and jointly creating an open, inclusive and balanced regional economic cooperation architecture that benefits all.
The “Belt and Road” initiative is not meant as rhetoric. It is an ambitious economic vision of the opening-up of and cooperation among the countries along the Belt and Road, representing real work that could be seen and felt to bring real benefits to countries in the region.
The key areas of cooperation include promotion of policy coordination, facilities connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration and people-to-people bonds.
Enhancing policy coordination is an important guarantee for implementing the Initiative. Countries along the Belt and Road may fully coordinate their economic development strategies and policies and jointly provide policy support for the implementation of practical cooperation and large-scale
Facilities connectivity is a priority area for implementing the Initiative. Countries along the Belt and Road should improve the connectivity of their infrastructure construction plans and technical standard systems, jointly push forward the construction of international trunk passageways, and form an infrastructure network. Priority should be given to key passageways, port infrastructure construction, aviation infrastructure, connectivity of energy infrastructure, cross-border optical cables and other communications trunk line networks, etc.
Investment and trade cooperation is a major task in building the Belt and Road. We should strive to improve investment and trade facilitation, integrate investment and trade, and promote trade through investment. We should expand mutual investment areas, deepen cooperation in agriculture, animal husbandry and fisheries, agricultural machinery manufacturing and farm produce processing, and promote cooperation in marine-product farming, deep-sea fishing, aquatic product processing, seawater desalination, marine biopharmacy, ocean engineering technology, environmental protection industries, marine tourism and other fields. We should increase cooperation in the exploration and development of coal, oil, gas, metal minerals and other conventional energy sources; advance cooperation in hydropower, nuclear power, wind power, solar power and other clean, renewable energy sources.
Financial integration is an important underpinning for implementing the Belt and Road Initiative. We should deepen financial cooperation, strengthen financial regulation cooperation, and make more efforts in building a currency stability system, investment and financing system and credit information system in Asia.
People-to-people bond provides the public support for implementing the Initiative. We should promote extensive cultural and academic exchanges, personnel exchanges, media cooperation, tourism cooperation, capacity building, youth and women exchanges and volunteer services, so as to win public support for deepening bilateral and multilateral cooperation.
With concerted efforts, the Belt and Road initiative is now being translated into action and benefiting the people.
By 2021 Bangladesh is striving to achieve the goal of becoming a middle-income country and China is targeting to construct a well-off society in all round. China and Bangladesh have a shared dream.
To achieve its dream, Bangladesh is making relentless efforts, to develop infrastructure, power generation, attract more foreign investment, diversify trade destinations and so on. Bangladesh is working with China, India and Myanmar to build the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor (BCIM-EC), which is closely related to the Belt and Road Initiative.
Bangladesh is strategically located along the Silk Road. Bangladesh will better link with the vibrant East Asia economic circle at one end and resource-rich Middle East at the other through the Belt and Road, and combine itself with the most promising markets of China and India through the BCIM-EC, making Bangladesh a hub of regional trade and connectivity. Bangladesh will surely benefit from the construction of the Belt and Road.
The writer is the Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh
MAY 07, 2015