BEIJING — The Belt and Road Initiative will be a significant turning point for the Chinese economy as it can help promote infrastructure and industrial transfer among different localities, said a Chinese economist.
Infrastructure connectivity is a priority for the initiative, and it can create a new wave of investment in China, said Guan Qingyou, executive director of Minsheng Securities’ research institute.
The Chinese economy posted 7.4-percent growth in 2014, its weakest since 1990. The annual growth target set by the government was lowered to around 7 percent for 2015.
Planned infrastructure projects and projects in progress related to the initiative total 1.04 trillion yuan ($169.5 billion) across the nation, Guan said in a recent interview with Xinhua.
Most infrastructure projects will take two to four years to complete, which translates to about 400 billion yuan in infrastructure investment for this year, he said.
China’s various regions have different levels of economic development, which creates opportunities for industrial coordination, and the speed of industrial transfer may be faster than expected, said Guan, adding that textiles, chemicals, electric machinery and other traditional industries can be transferred to central China from areas like Shanghai, Beijing, and Zhejiang province.
Telecommunications, computer and other electronic equipment manufacturing sectors are being transferred to areas such as southwest China’s Sichuan province and central China’s Anhui province from Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong province, he added.
The initiative was first proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013 to connect Asian, European and African countries more closely and promote mutually beneficial cooperation. Some experts believe it may also bolster China’s industrial upgrades, urbanization and coordinated development among regions.