Projects on the belt and road initiative, or the OBOR strategy.
Towards the last decades became China a major actor on the economic scene, the opening-up brought the country to the largest trading country of goods, the second largest economy worldwide and the third largest country for the Foreign Direct Investments. China’s share in the world economy were as of 15 % in 2015, and only for the first half of 2016 the GDP growth rate was of 6.7%. In the context of pushing new reforms leading to innovations, or to the integration of the one belt one road and the maritime silk road initiatives will surely create future cooperations, consultations and developments. A development strategy and framework to focus on connectivity and cooperations proposed at the end of 2013 by the Chinese leader to facilitate the sharing of global affairs and interests, more precisely intended to Eurasian and EU countries. Common developments to ease then individual countries to achieve real developments, but also on the adjacent seas. It will surely help Asian countries to fulfill the gap on the infrastructures level with the EU. A way to strenthen the connections bethween the Chinese and the world economy. An intiative not only to facilitate connectivities and exchanges but also for a better policy coordination, to unimpeded trade, digital cooperation, financial integration and people-to-people bond.
The project will reach in jointly consultations to meet the interests of all and then coordinate the policies. But an initiative that needs financial supports. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank was officialy open by 57 founding countries (including 14 EU Member States), investments of the government of China, public-private partnership programs and the Silk Road Fund was established and set-out for fund raising to reach the ambitions of the initiative. Creating interdependance by reenforcing infrastructures, facilitating trade and investments and creating socio-cultural exchanges. In the meantime is the OBOR intiative welcomed by about 100 countries and international organisations with a positive attitude about it. Cooperation agreement are alredy signed bethween China and more or less 30 countries, 20 other countries signed enhancing cooperation in the area of production capacity and others are appointed as Silk Road Ambassadors.
Belgium is of course also working hard on the project with China, and more precisely to a better railway connections bethween the Port of Antwerp and China’s western regions. Several times a week liners are connecting the Port of Antwerp with the several China’s port, and in the coming future it will be the same with the rail connection. Also the Chinese tourists arriving mainly trough Liege airport by chartered flights, for the start of their travel in Europe. Belgium is provided with a convenient transportation and well-developped logistics systems, from this perspective Brussels is also becoming the European hub to many Chinese companies. The last State visit of King Philippe of Belgium was of course fructuous with the signing of more than 90 contracts and agreements. Bilateral partnerships and investments are thus getting more and more active, with the establishing of of several investment funds by both countries. In order to enhance the financial cooperation on the initiative, Belgium is looking to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
Furthermore the people-to-people bond are also more than fructuous with each year more than one hundred cultural exchange events taking place in both countries covering music, art exhibitions and performances. The understanding bethween peoples will lead to reinforced cooperation when both partners know each other better. A potential which is coming to reality through friendship, cooperation, transparency, partnership, innovation and mutual exchanges. The sinergies between civilisations will then lead to the succes of this geocultural and geopolitical initiative for a better economical stability, sustainability, comprehensive network, complementarity and accessibity. Quoting an emeritus professor on the initiative is: “the New Silk Road and Maritime Route is the most ambitious and exciting business and economic project of the 21st century.”