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Belt and Road Initiative marks progress among key nations

2019-10-08 10:21:32 China Daily Global

Marzuki Alie, former speaker of the Indonesian House of Representatives, remembers well the day he hosted President Xi Jinping in Jakarta six years ago.

Marzuki Alie, former speaker of the Indonesian House of Representatives, remembers well the day he hosted President Xi Jinping in Jakarta six years ago.

During his speech on Oct 3, 2013, Xi proposed jointly building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road along sea routes that have borne goods and friendship to the people of different countries for many centuries.

"President Xi is the only foreign leader to give a speech in front of the chair and members of the Indonesian parliament," Marzuki said, adding that the address by the Chinese leader "was an exception as well as a privilege for us".

Xi's speech and talks with heads of the Indonesian parliament were memorable - especially the invitation to move forward together, said Marzuki, who served from 2009 to 2014.

"President Xi will not only continue to strengthen cooperation with Indonesia, but more broadly with ASEAN countries as well," he said, referring to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Marzuki said Xi discussed 12 important points during their meeting and emphasized five key components needed to share prosperity: building trust and sincerity; holding on to win-win cooperation; watching out for and helping each other; sticking to heart-to-heart exchanges; and being open and inclusive.

On Sept 7, 2013, at Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan, Xi put forward the concept of the Silk Road Economic Belt, underlining the need to strengthen connectivity in policy, infrastructure, trade, finance and people-to-people exchanges.

The concepts of the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road were later termed One Belt, One Road before evolving into the Belt and Road Initiative.

The BRI aims to enhance Asia's interconnectivity with Europe, Africa and other continents along ancient trade routes, exploring new driving forces for world economic growth and building a new platform for global economic cooperation. The World Bank estimates that BRI economies account for one-third of world trade and GDP, as well as more than 60 percent of the global population.

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