KUALA LUMPUR: China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) will bring about new prospects for inclusive development in Asia, said China’s Ambassador to Malaysia Bai Tian.
He said the ever deepening economic gap and inequalities in most Asian developing countries has hindered their development.
Bai said the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has estimated that Asia would need US$8 trillion of infrastructure investment between 2010 and 2020, thus BRI inception was in accordance with the needs and demands of most countries.
“By mobilising resources through cooperation and easing the development gap, the BRI aims to enable more countries and regions to harvest the fruit of global growth and globalisation in a fair, just and equitable manner.
“It has provided new ideas and a new platform to realise the inclusive growth in Asia,” he said in his keynote address at the ‘New Inclusive Asia Dialogue’ organised by non-governmental think tank Centre For New Inclusive Asia here today.
The two-day dialogue attended by scholars, government officials and corporate leaders from 11 countries aims at sharing insights on connectivity for inclusive growth in Asia.
Mooted by Chinese President Xi Jinping, BRI aims at reviving the ancient Silk Road trade routes linking Asia and other parts of the world through roads, rail, airports, pipelines and other means.
Malaysia has also expressed full support for BRI as Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was quoted saying that the country stands to benefit from the massive infrastructure projects during the high-level meeting of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in China on April 24.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Investment Development Authority chairman Datuk Abdul Majid Ahmad Khan said as BRI would benefit Malaysia, the government needs to take advantage and leverage China’s open door policy to gain investments to develop the country, thus narrowing the country’s economic gap.
“Under BRI, the country and investors will benefit in terms of wealth, but most importantly, we want the people and workers to benefit through higher wages and also possession of higher skills,” he said.
Abdul Majid said Malaysia has benefited from BRI since its inception in 2013, with the inflows of Chinese investments into the country.