MAY 17 — The two-day Belt and Road Forum was held in China with president Xi Jinping clearly outlining the concept while injecting more substantial content into the ambitious initiative.
Xi announced that his country would offer 60 billion yuan (approximately RM38 billion) in assistance for developing countries and international organizations taking part in the “One Belt, One Road” developments over the next three years.
On top of that, Beijing will also fortify its financial support for OBOR developments, injecting additional 100 billion yuan into the Silk Road Fund.
The move once again demonstrates the Beijing authorities’ determination in pushing ahead and expediting the OBOR initiative.
The OBOR concept was first mooted by Xi in 2013, and it has since achieved significant progress globally thanks to the Chinese government’s unrelenting support these few years, from a largely abstract ideology to more substantial plans that embody Beijing’s resolution to reconstruct the global trade model.
According to Chinese government information, more than a hundred countries and international organizations have expressed support for the initiative, of which 40 have inked agreements with Beijing.
The successful hosting of the Belt and Road Forum also signifies the widespread support from the international community. The forum has been a momentous top-level diplomatic event initiated by China seeing the participation of some 29 heads of state and government leaders, along with bigwigs of key international organizations, and could rightly claim as one of the most watched events of the world in recent years.
As the curtain falls on the summit, the OBOR outline is even more explicit now. China will set up a post-forum liaison mechanism with the establishment of the OBOR financial development research center and OBOR development promotion center, among others. This is poised to take OBOR developments to a whole new level.
There are signs that point to the fact that OBOR is moving on the right track, providing a world of opportunities in economic development and wealth creation for participating nations.
However, there are also challenges ahead. For instance, many European countries have shown reservations about this initiative while India has opted out. These are problems that need to be dealt with prudently.
* This article was first published here.
** This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail Online.