GUANGZHOU, China, Nov. 13, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — During a parallel session held on October 29 at the International Finance Forum (IFF) 20th Anniversary and Annual Meeting 2023, world leaders and guests from around the globe discussed the decade-long progress of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and new opportunities for future collaboration.
Reza Baqir, Global Practice Leader of Alvarez & Marsal’s Sovereignty Advisory Services, Senior Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School, and former Governor of State Bank of Pakistan, remarked on how the BRI has bridged gaps. He pointed out that Pakistan, a key Chinese ally, was among the earliest participants in the initiative, highlighting the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor’s role as a flagship and pilot project in BRI.
Kairat Kelimbetov, an IFF Board Member and Strategic Advisor at Freedom Horizons, former Governor of Astana International Financial Centre, and former Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, underscored Kazakhstan’s early involvement in the BRI. Over the past decade, the country, through its participation in the initiative, has constructed over 2,000 kilometers of railways. “This robust transport network, integrated with the world’s second-largest economy and the European Union, benefits both Kazakhstan and global trade,” Mr. Kelimbmetov noted.
Sultan bin Nasser al-Suwaidi, IFF Board Member and former Governor of the Central Bank of the UAE, cited the reduction in prices for manufactured goods as a key outcome of the BRI. He stated that prices of around 30-50% of the UAE’s manufactured products have dropped as the BRI cooperation has provided a reliable supply chain for developing nations.
Guo Lei, Vice President of Global Finance of China Development Bank (CDB), underscored the crucial role of financial guidance, support and services in the BRI. She argued that high-quality financial services provide stable support for the initiative while the further deepening of partnerships in the initiative creates ample space for the growth of the financial sector. Over the past decade, CDB has played a significant role in the initiative by financing 1,300 BRI projects, with an accumulative investment exceeding US$280 billion.
Suraya Pauzi, Consul General of Malaysia in Guangzhou, noted that Malaysia launched its first BRI project in 2013, which has stimulated growth on national, regional and global levels by facilitating trade cooperation between countries.
Zhang Xin, Deputy General Manager of Wuliangye Group, discussed the company’s active participation in the BRI. As a representative of national brands, the firm has focused on enhancing overseas networks, aligning with international standards, and fostering cross-cultural understanding. By doing so, it’s elevating its international presence and driving the liquor industry towards a new development paradigm, explained Mr. Zhang.
Commenting on the future of the BRI, Sirajuddin Aziz, Supervisor at United Bank Limited, a Pakistani multinational commercial bank, forecasted a closer integration of additional industrial parks within the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. He predicted an increase in talent exchange between the two countries, leading to numerous opportunities in the coming decade. Aziz also anticipated the BRI cooperation to contribute 2.5% to Pakistan’s GDP growth and meet over 50% of its energy demand by 2030.
Zhou Jian, Advisor to IFF and former Vice Minister of China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment, stressed the need for a shared vision among nations in building the Belt and Road. He indicated that the “dual carbon” goal is a significant part of this vision.
Wang Yuanfeng, a member of the IFF Academic Committee and Vice Chairman of the Chinese Association of Development Strategy Studies, noted the evolution of the BRI to its “2.0 version”, which emphasizes green and high-quality development. Mr. Wang suggested that the initiative’s future endeavors should prioritize enhancing climate change adaptation.
SOURCE The International Finance Forum (IFF)