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China’s Belt and Road Initiative to boost global trade, peace

Updated: Nov 3,2016 10:30 AM     Xinhua

DUBAI — China’s Belt and Road Initiative provides not only new stimulus for a region stretching from East Asia to Europe, but it will also promote political stability mainly in Central Asia and the Middle East, experts said on Nov 2.

“The initiative is 12 times bigger than what the United States invested in Europe under the Marshall Plan following the Second World War,” Khalid Hashim, managing director of Precious Shipping PCL based in Bangkok, Thailand, said at the weeklong Dubai Maritime summit.

The initiative’s infrastructure projects have significantly reduced the recruitment of Jihadists and increased stability in Pakistan, he said.

By 2018, Chinese power generation projects in Pakistan will reach a share of one third of the country’s power consumption, he added.

Hashim said that Arab countries struck in political turmoils like Libya or Tunisia could benefit likewise and find their way back to stability if the initiative’s projects can generate prosperity and jobs in North Africa.

China’s Belt and Road Initiative is a masterplan to integrate 65 countries from East Asia via Central Asia, the Middle East, East Africa to Western Europe. It was launched by President Xi Jinping in September 2013.

The initiative is poised to improve the standards of living for 4.4 billion people, more than half of the world’s total population, according to Hashim.

Echoing Hashim’s words, Stephan Piworus, member of the Board at the Maritime Cluster Northern Germany, said that more trade via the maritime routes with Asia can create more jobs both in Europe and Asia.

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