Interview: Bangladeshi expert sees Belt and Road Initiative beacon amid conflicts, protectionism

Source: Xinhua| 2018-09-30 16:37:48|Editor: xuxin
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by Naim-Ul-Karim

DHAKA, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) -- The China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a revolutionary concept to bring into reality the world-wide desire for true globalization and seamless connectivity, a top Bangladeshi research institute executive said.

Ali Ahmed, CEO of Bangladesh Foreign Trade Institute (BFTI), a non-profit research and training institution, made the remarks in an interview with Xinhua on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative.

BRI is going to revolutionize global connectivity leading to an unforeseen level of rise in prosperity in the world, said Ahmed, a leading policy expert and an active participant in policy-level national and international dialogues.

He said BRI will be beneficial for every individual of every country to the extent that they do get involved in it.

Taking on board over 60 countries, the initiative has enormous possibilities, Ahmed said.

Ahmed noted the already visible long-haul truck-loads of cargoes between China and European countries, adding that many other connectivity projects under the initiative are at different stages of development with many other countries.

This has brought China to the center stage of the push for globalization and connectivity, he said.

"BRI appears to be working as a beacon in the lengthening shadows of regional conflicts and self-destructive protectionism adopted by some," said the expert.

For South Asia, one of the less connected regions in the world with cumulative poverty level, the necessity to join BRI is simply imperative, he said.

"Bangladesh is undoubtedly eager and poised to join any initiative for closer connectivity, especially with her neighbors, including Myanmar and, of course, India and China," he said.

"This springs from our earnest desire for a quick economic development and social justice. We are painfully aware of our acute necessity of connectivity and a pitiful shortage of capital to bring it about. Joining the BRI, in my opinion, would bring about great economic benefits to the entire region," said Ahmed, who served the Bangladeshi government for decades prior to joining BFTI in 2015.

"I would therefore urge upon the leaders of the region to put their petty differences aside and join the initiative," he said.