Feature: Europe shares benefits brought by Belt & Road Initiative

Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-10 18:42:42|Editor: Xiang Bo
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WARSAW, May 9 (Xinhua) -- On the eve of going to Beijing for the upcoming Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo kept himself busy in promoting the construction of the Polish Central Airport, which is planned to integrate into the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.

At the same time, a 13,500-square-meter plant invested by Chinese Hongbo Clean Energy Enterprise is under construction in the roar of machines in the Polish city of Opole.

Connecting a number of economic circles in the Asia-Pacific region and Europe, the Belt and Road Initiative brings China and Europe closer.

Proposed by China in 2013, the initiative consists of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road. It aims to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along, and beyond, the ancient Silk Road trade routes.

Many European countries believe that the Belt and Road Initiative and Europe's revival plans bring opportunities for each other, and only catching the "Chinese Express of opportunities" might help better share the benefits.

A report released by the Germany Trade & Invest in February shows that in 2016, the agency contributed to a large number of foreign green field investment projects, among which 26 were from China, ranking first. The Chinese projects also created 331 jobs.

The German port in Duisburg sees more than 20 block trains, called the China Railway Express, shuttling between the Chinese cities and the German port weekly, with a turnover of record 230 million euros (about 251 million U.S. dollars) in 2016.

After the Brexit poll, Britain is pinning high hope on the Chinese market.

Andrew Parmley, Lord Mayor of the City of London, said Britain has an advantage in terms of financial services and legal advice, while China has rich experience in infrastructure construction, therefore there is a broad space for cooperation between China and Britain under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Despite the tepid economic recovery and sluggish trade globally, China-EU economic and trade cooperation has maintained a strong momentum of development.

Chinese-Polish bilateral trade grew from 14.8 billion dollars in 2013 to 17.6 billion dollars in 2016. China's non-financial investment stock in Poland rose from 160 million dollars to 370 million dollars in the same period.

The latest data of the Chinese General Administration of Customs showed that in the first four months of this year, the EU was China's largest trading partner, with the trade value between Europe and China up 15.5 year on year.

Meanwhile, the Belt and Road Initiative will also further cooperation between China and Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) region.

By January 2017, the China Railway Express had covered 15 cities in 10 European countries and the land cargo capacity had greatly improved.

Moreover, Chinese enterprises are enthusiastic about investing in Europe.

In June 2016, China Everbright International Limited acquired Poland's leading independent solid waste treatment company NOVAGO for 123 million euros (134 million dollars), the largest single Chinese investment in Poland so far.

Grzegorz Czelej, deputy marshal of the Polish Senate and chairman of the Polish-Chinese Parliamentary Group, said that over the past two years, China's investments in Poland have increased significantly, and the Belt and Road Initiative brings opportunities for the economic development of the two countries.

A number of European countries with various development plans, such as the EU's "Juncker Plan", the construction of a Eurasian Economic Union, Britain's infrastructure upgrading program, Germany's "Industry 4.0", Poland's 2030 long-term national development strategy, are seeking to link their own strategies with the China-proposed initiative to explore growth points for the revival of the European economy.

Chinese Ambassador to Poland Xu Jian said the Belt and Road Initiative has established a platform between China and Europe, providing broad opportunities to realize policy coordination, infrastructure inter-connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration and people-to-people bond.

KEY WORDS: Belt & Road