Interview: Belt and Road Initiative "very important" for maritime nations, says Indonesian scholar

Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-12 13:01:08|Editor: ying
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by Liang Hui, Zheng Shibo

JAKARTA, May 12 (Xinhua) -- The Belt and Road Initiative is very important for maritime nations such as Indonesia, as the country and most of other ASEAN members are located on the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, an Indonesian scholar has said.

The China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, with its broad prospects, will definitely push the world economy forward and help Indonesia's economic development, Jusuf Wanandi, senior fellow and co-founder of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a policy research organization, told Xinhua in an interview.

Indonesia and other Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries could make policies and principles for embracing the initiative, he said.

As for Indonesia, the maritime part of the Belt and Road Initiative is more important, said Wanandi, who is also the vice chair of the Indonesian National Committee for the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council.

"I think that the first thing we should do is the connectivity between regions. Infrastructure construction is fundamental for economic development. Therefore, Indonesia and China can work together in infrastructure construction. At the same time, contacts in economy, trade and finance also should be strengthened," he said.

"Indonesia and China have complementary advantages in the fields of economy and trade, and both can strengthen win-win cooperation in infrastructure constructions," he added.

Wanandi also emphasized the need to boost mutual understanding between both countries by encouraging more people-to-people exchanges.

Noting that economic globalization is showing a backward tendency, Wanandi said Indonesia, China and other ASEAN member nations should work together to enhance economic cooperation and make progress in globalization, adding that efforts are needed to upgrade the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area.

Amid the ongoing global economic recovery, enhancing global mutual cooperation becomes more important than ever before, thus the Chinese-advocated notion of "creating a community of shared future for mankind" can play a great role to unite the world based on common interests, he said.

The notion, which stresses that countries should promote common development and establish more equitable and balanced development partnerships, was first proposed in a report by the Communist Party of China in November 2012.

The Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, scheduled for May 14-15 in Beijing, is an important event to enhance international cooperation, as a fixed platform for mutual cooperation is needed for the Belt and Road Initiative that involves so many countries, said Wanandi.