The Maritime Silk Route will not be built in a day

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, February 14, 2015
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Rome was not built in a day, and the same holds true for the 21st Century Maritime Silk Route initiative designed to link Asia, Africa and Europe.

Connectivity is the key concept underlining the expansive route. Ports, railways, tunnels and pipelines are expected to link the countries along the route physically; a huge project needing substantial investment of time and money.

Although construction projects may have definite completion dates, cultural integration; financial and regulatory environment improvements; and social welfare development, all essential to facilitating cooperation, will likely be the more time-consuming tasks.

In addition, it will take time for the regional partners to fully embrace the initiative.

Patience is also needed to allow all parties involved to speed up domestic reforms to cultivate a sound, stable and sustainable market environment suitable for cooperation.0 Most importantly, investors, who are integral to the initiative, must earn the trust of local partners to fully unleash potential.

The Maritime Silk Route initiative has been on the cards for about 18 months, but with the gradual rolling out of a detailed development blueprint, it might take another decade or more for participants to establish concrete economic, social and cultural links.

Thus, the initiative needs time, commitment and action from all involved. Although spearheaded by China, common prosperity relies on efforts from all participants.

China is currently championing the initiative, with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday advocating the prompt establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and concrete project investment through the Silk Road Fund, which will finance the development of supporting projects.

The world's second largest economy is undergoing painful economic restructuring amid slowing growth, but China is still determined to contribute to regional prosperity through regional cooperation because, in an increasingly interconnected world, win-win situations are of benefit to all.

Opportunity waits for no man. We need patience and, more importantly, timely, concrete action.

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