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16 May 2017, 09:16 | Dawn Berry
One Belt, One Road: China welcomes heads of state, Intl financial organizations at global cooperation forum
"The China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China will set up special lending plans respectively worth 250 billion yuan and 130 billion yuan to support Belt and Road cooperation on infrastructure, industrial capacity and financing", Xi told more than 1,500 people in the audience at the China National Convention Center in Beijing Olympic Park.
Beijing is hosting a high-level worldwide cooperation forum, dubbed "One Belt, One Road", which brings together dozens of heads of state and government, along with financial organizations and hundreds of business representatives and entrepreneurs.
He said China, India, Russia and the U.S. should come together to develop a long-term security architecture.
The latest figures indicate that trade between the two had reached US$220 billion in 2014 while China's direct investment in Africa topped US$30 billion in the same year.
Xi pledged a massive funding boost to the new Silk Road, including an extra 100 billion yuan ($14.50 billion) into the existing Silk Road Fund, 380 billion yuan in loans from two policy banks and 60 billion yuan in aid to developing countries and worldwide institutions in new Silk Road countries.
He said deep-seated problems in global development had yet to be addressed effectively, with worldwide trade and investment sluggish, and economic globalisation encountering headwinds.
Three state-owned Chinese enterprises bought Turkey's third largest port, Kumport, which is considered an important joint between the "belt" and the "road".
The 45-minute-long address by the 63-year-old Chinese president came a day after India made it clear that it will not attend the two-day B&R Forum that began in Beijing today.
German Economy Minister Brigitte Zypries called for transparency to ensure that the calls for investment bids are "non-discriminatory".
"We welcome recent signals by the Chinese leadership for free trade and open markets", Ms Zypries added.
"We should foster a new type of global relations featuring win-win cooperation; we should forge partnerships of dialogue with no confrontation and of friendship, rather than alliance", he said. The visionary initiative of One Belt, One Road in fact is not only beneficial for Pakistan and China but it will also serve as a boon for other developing countries.
Some Belt and Road projects are already raising concerns in certain countries.
The BRI has been growing since Mr Xi unveiled it in 2013, and it now has 68 countries representing 40 per cent of global GDP eager to participate.
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor was inaugurated in November to link Gwadar port with Kashgar, a city in China's northwestern Xinjiang province.
"The Belt and Road project, reaching Rwanda and beyond, will be a leap forward in process of integrating Africa not only facilitating integration of the continent's economy into the global one but also enhancing political integration", Kayonga said.
About 50 Chinese state-owned enterprises have participated in almost 1,700 projects in countries along the new Silk Road routes over the past three years, the government says.
The China-Europe Railway Express includes 51 rail links connecting 27 Chinese and 28 European cities, with freight trains that offer shorter transport time than sea routes.
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