Interview: Belt and Road Initiative to benefit region, help achieve SDGs, says Malaysian envoy to UN

Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-12 13:21:16|Editor: Hou Qiang

Dato' Muhammad Shahrul Ikram Yaakob (C), Malaysia's permanent representative to the United Nations, speaks during an interview with Chinese media in New York, the United States, May 11, 2017. (Xinhua/Li Muzi)

NEW YORK, May 11 (Xinhua) -- The China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, once fully implemented, will enhance regional connectivity and economic development, and thus help achieve the implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a Malaysian envoy to the United Nations (UN) said Thursday.

"The Belt and Road Initiative is massive," said Dato' Muhammad Shahrul Ikram Yaakob, Malaysia's permanent representative to the UN, in an interview with Chinese media in his office.

He said the six economic corridors under the Belt and Road Initiative, namely, the New Eurasian Continental Bridge, the China-Mongolia-Russia corridor, the China-Central Asia-West Asia corridor, the China-Indochina Peninsula corridor, the China-Pakistan corridor, and the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar corridor, are closely related to regional infrastructure construction and economic development.

Talking about the two projects in Malaysia linked to the initiative -- the Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park and the Melaka Gateway project, Yaakob noted that projects like these have created jobs, promoted the transfer of expertise and technologies, and spurred economic exchanges.

"When you have the six corridors fully functioning, it will benefit not only the connectivity in the area, but also the economy and the well-being of the people," said the ambassador.

It is "significant" that the UN Security Council and General Assembly have both adopted resolutions incorporating the Belt and Road Initiative and the gesture shows the initiative has got general support from UN member states, he said.

Yaakob also noted that the initiative is closely related to the implementation of the SDGs, especially the first, eighth and ninth goals, which all aim to end all kinds of poverty around the globe and promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak will attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation scheduled for May 14-15 in Beijing.

This will provide an opportunity to share Malaysia's view at the forum on how to facilitate cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative for common prosperity, especially with regard to infrastructure development, trade promotion, financial integration and people-to-people bonds, the envoy noted.

It will also boost the efforts to further enhance the relations and cooperation between China and Malaysia, he added.

KEY WORDS: Belt and Road Initiative