A new platform for cross-region cooperation
“Belt and Road” (B&R) refers to the land-based “Silk Road Economic Belt” and the seafaring “21st Century Maritime Silk Road”. The routes cover more than 60 countries across Asia, Europe and Africa, accounting for 30 per cent of global GDP and more than 30 per cent of the world’s merchandise trade. It is forecast that by 2050, the countries and regions along the B&R will contribute 80 per cent of global GDP growth.1
The B&R Initiative seeks to promote market integration and forge new ties among different economies, with the objective of driving deeper regional development by promoting cooperation in a variety of areas, expanding business opportunities and encouraging people-to-people exchanges among different regions.
To promote the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative, China issued in March 2015 a document entitled “Vision and Actions on Jointly Building Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road”, outlining the development ideas and blueprint of the Belt and Road Initiative. The proposed “five areas of connectivity” – policy co-ordination, facilities connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration and people-to-people bond – will foster the concurrent development of the Belt and Road countries and strengthen co-operation on the political, economic and cultural fronts.
1 One Belt, One Road: From dialogue to action, McKinsey Global Institute, April 2015