BEIJING, April 12 (Xinhua) -- The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is gaining increasing popularity among the global business community, with a growing number of international institutions and companies feeling the benefits.
"The idea came from China, but it is a global project," Peter Mihok, chair of International Chamber of Commerce World Chambers Federation, said on the sidelines of the Belt and Road Trade and Investment Forum in Beijing Thursday.
Proposed by China in 2013, the BRI aims to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road trade routes to seek common development and prosperity.
The global business community should actively participate in the project because it's not important where the idea comes from -- the result is important, Mihok said.
Mihok spoke highly of China's recent efforts in further opening-up, and expressed concerns over rising protectionism.
"Business should build the bridges. We are not here to destroy the bridges," Mihok said.
Kiprono Kittony, chairperson of Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said Chinese investment in Africa is a win-win for both sides.
"China has made substantial investments in the continent of Africa, especially in infrastructure. This has had a great impact on economies of Africa. It allows for more movement of goods and services," Kittony said.
At the forum, small businesses from around the world were busy connecting with Chinese companies and government officials, hoping to get a step ahead in grabbing the opportunities brought by Belt and Road.
Angiola Rucci, project manager with event organizing company Triumph Asia, a unit of Italy-based Triumph Group International, said the BRI has fueled two-way exchanges between China and Europe, supporting their business.
"We think there will be more opportunities in the future because this initiative is more and more known. At the beginning maybe it was only relevant for the Chinese, but now it's also extremely relevant elsewhere in the world," Rucci said.