BEIJING — China’s top economic planner said on Dec 22 that 86 countries and international organizations have signed 100 cooperation agreements with China under the Belt and Road Initiative.
He Lifeng, head of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said the initiative made major headway in 2017, citing progress in key areas including capacity, investment and the Digital Silk Road.
Steady progress was made in the building of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, the Mombasa-Nairobi railway has been put into operation, construction has begun on the Belgrade — Stara Pazova section of the Hungary-Serbia railway and the Khalifa Port in the United Arab Emirates, the operation of the Hambantota Port has also been transferred to a Chinese firm, said He.
So far, more than 7,000 cargo train trips have been made between China and Europe, according to He.
In the coming 2018, the NDRC will focus on the implementation of agreements reached at the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held in Beijing in May, he said.
The Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by China in 2013, aims to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road trade routes to seek common development and prosperity.