Beijing : China’s “The Belt and Road Initiatives”, which aim to promote a new SilkRoad linking Asia, Europe and #Africa have sparked great enthusiasm in countries along the linking routes.
More than 50 countries have expressed interest in joining China’s proposed economic belt, reviving the centuries-old Silk Road where early commerce between nations helped develop global trade, labor flows, culture and civilization.Key elements in the plans are roads and railways, enabling goods to be moved freely.
Thailand and China are cooperating on a 12 billion US dollar plan to upgrade Thailand’s rail network from aging diesel locomotives to electric high-speed trains.
Sino-Thai Engineering, one of the Thailand’s biggest infrastructure developers, is now at the forefront of the project. Anutin Charnvirakul, president of the company says that “any company involved in the construction business will greatly benefit from this policy. China is emerging as an economic giant in our view and in order to make the world smaller in terms of trade, logistics and travel, this policy is very eminent.”
Myanmar, a neighbor of Thailand, is also opening up for business, as a second bridge will be built bringing improvements in transport and logistics to enhance its exports to Thailand, China and beyond. For years, Myanmar has remained as one of the world’s least-connected countries – 145th out of 155 countries in a World Bank index.
“We can produce a large quantity of top-quality rice for China. In the past, the price of rice has been very low but now the Myanmar government is negotiating with China for a higher price,” says HLA Shein, a member of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce.
Countries along the Silk Road have a combined population of 4.4 billion, and an annual economic output of 2.2 trillion US dollars. With complementary industrial structures, the initiatives will not only open up new markets for Chinese goods, but also help partner countries to develop and expand.-CCTV
March 9, 2015