SCIO briefing on development of Belt and Road Initiative

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Ning Jizhe, vice director of the Office of the Leading Group for the Belt and Road Initiative, deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission, head of the National Bureau of Statistics

Qian Keming, vice minister of commerce

Zhang Jun, assistant minister of foreign affairs

Hu Kaihong, spokesperson for the State Council Information Office of China

August 27, 2018

China Central Television:

Mr. Ning, how can the Chinese government better share the opportunities with countries along the Belt and Road Initiative under the framework of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits? Thank you.

Ning Jizhe:

I want to answer this very important question from the following three aspects. China, as the world's second largest economy, now contributes over 30 percent to the world's economic growth. China's extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits with the Belt and Road countries is conducive to creating more opportunities for mutual development.

First, in the past few years, China and the countries involved in the Belt and Road initiative have worked together to promote regional economic development and the recovery of the world economy. As you know, the impact of the global financial crisis, which broke out a decade ago, was still felt five years ago. In this economic situation, President Xi Jinping proposed the Belt and Road Initiative which has promoted economic growth and improved people's livelihood through cooperative projects with other countries. For example, countries like Kazakhstan, which champions the "Bright Road" Initiative, also seeks alignment with China's proposed Belt and Road Initiative. Over the past years, Kazakhstan's economy has picked up, Chinese enterprises have developed rapidly in Kazakhstan, and the people of the two countries have benefited from the development. This is only one example, the same is true for China and Southeast Asian countries. Under the backdrop of global economic crisis and the intensive development of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area, bilateral cooperation between China and Southeast Asian countries achieved much progress under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative. A large majority of the countries in the region achieved an annual growth rate of around 5 to 7 percent. It has become the region with the most dynamic growth in the world.

Second, joint contribution and shared benefits of the Belt and Road development has expanded two-way trade and investment. The two-way trade between China and the Belt and Road countries has totaled over US$5 trillion, and this rate of growth is faster than the growth rate of trade between China and other regions. Two-way investment between both sides, based on my calculation, is nearly a hundred billion US dollars, which is also growing very quickly. Development opportunities actually lie in two-way investment, trade and personnel exchanges.

Third, joint contribution and shared benefits of the Belt and Road development have also increased complementary advantages and win-win outcomes of all parties. As you know, countries along the Belt and Road, as well as other cooperation partners are mostly developing countries. There are, however, also developed countries, emerging economies and high-income oil-exporting nations. They all have their unique advantages, be it in capital, technology, management, labor, resources or market. Most importantly, the Belt and Road Initiative can utilize their complementarities and share opportunities for development among the countries.

China has long enjoyed a comparative advantage in traditional production and is also now creating new advantages in the areas of capital and management. Other developing countries boast huge markets, while developed countries have clear advantages in the areas of capital and technology. Through bilateral, trilateral and multilateral cooperation, the Belt and Road Initiative can combine all the advantages of countries along the Belt and Road to promote economic development and improve people's livelihood along the route. Thank you.

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