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BRI hailed at world transport forum

2019-05-27 12:41:41 Global Times

The BRI has been hailed by officials and experts at the ongoing ITF in Germany, with some saying the initiative is an opportunity that each ry should grab.

The China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has been hailed by officials and experts at the ongoing International Transport Forum (ITF) in Germany, with some saying the initiative is an "opportunity that each country should grab."

Li Xiaopeng, China's Transport Minister, told the Global Times at a press conference during the forum on Thursday that the BRI has made solid progress across Europe, and in particular, has made breakthroughs in Western Europe in recent years.

"Despite the BRI initiative originating in China, opportunities belong to the world, and China is willing to cooperate with all countries and regions to conduct pragmatic cooperation and build a new pattern of transport cooperation," Li said.

Li's remarks come amid growing unilateralism and uncertainties in the world. Li said that the BRI, which stresses connectivity, multilateralism and cooperation, is significant and will benefit the world's development under the current global situation.

Since its inception, the BRI has been bringing tangible benefits to both Europe and China.

One of the tangible benefits is China Railway Express, which connects 59 Chinese cities with 49 European cities in 15 countries. There were 6,363 trips in 2018, surging 73 percent from 2017, according to a report from Xinhua News Agency in March.

Freight trains have rumbled along the routes taking garments, auto parts, chemicals and other Chinese goods to European consumers, while bringing back European food, machinery, equipment and timber.

"More fruits will continue to emerge in the future," Li said.

Officials and experts echoed Li's comments. They described the initiative as an opportunity that each country should grab as it will reunite countries in Europe and bring new growth opportunities to them.

"I look at BRI as an opportunity that is coming. It's up to each country and each region to make use of it. The market can be enlarging; the pie can be bigger, so it's up to each country to look for a win-win cooperation and work towards it," Supee Teravaninthorn, director general of investment operations, AIIB, said during the forum.