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One Belt and One Road initiative is good for Africa - Amb. Kayonga

16 May 2017

Nearly 30 world leaders are attending a two-day summit promoting China's One Belt, One Road initiative that Beijing hopes will revive ancient trade routes from Asia to Europe and Africa - and breathe new life into its own economy.

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday offered tens of billions of dollars for projects that are part of his signature foreign policy initiative linking China to much of Asia, Europe and Africa.

He said, "In these times, when the temptation is great to respond to the crisis of globalisation by increasing isolation, and by raising walls, this initiative highlights a vision of connectivity, cooperation and dialogue across Europe and Asia but also other parts of the world".

The countries agreed that "we stand for enhancing worldwide cooperation including the Belt and Road Initiative and various development strategies".

"In a world of growing interdependency and challenges, no country can tackle the challenges, also the world's problems, on its own", Mr Xi said.

The One Belt One Road project is already in action in Chongqing in southern China where a massive logistics center moves containers on to trains 24 hours a day.

The Chinese leader used the worldwide gathering to promote his signature foreign policy project, the One Belt, One Road initiative.

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"Trade is the important engine of economic development", Mr. Xi said.

It's a milestone event created to promote Chinese President Xi Jinping's grand vision of expanding trade, financial and infrastructure links between Asia, Africa and Europe.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Sunday addressed the plenary session of the Belt and Road Forum (BRF) for International Cooperation in Beijing, where he stressed that geo-economics should take precedence over geopolitics.

Other delegates included officials, entrepreneurs and financiers from over 130 countries and representatives of key global organizations, such as U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and Managing Director of the worldwide Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde. It is looking to project its economic and political influence to almost 70 countries via the plan.

"In pursuing the Belt and Road Initiative, we should focus on the fundamental issue of development, release the growth potential of various countries and achieve economic integration and interconnected development and deliver benefits to all", Xi said.

He said the initiative, pioneered by Chinese leader Xi Jinping gives developing countries space to have a say in the global economy, create jobs and prosperity. He said deep-seated problems in global development had yet to be addressed effectively, with worldwide trade and investment sluggish, and economic globalization encountering headwinds. It was one of the first concrete results of trade discussions that began a month ago, when Xi and Trump launched a 100-day action plan on economic cooperation during their meeting at the USA leader's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.