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Initiative offers ASEAN a golden opportunity

By Bernard Yeung | China Daily | Updated: 2017-05-15 08:38

Assuming the chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in 2018, Singapore's priority for the regional bloc would be to advance cooperation, innovation and inclusive growth. This is a golden opportunity for ASEAN and China to cooperate and advance the Belt and Road Initiative (the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road) in the region, which will stimulate governments, multilateral organizations and the private sector to join forces to cultivate international cooperation and shared economic advancement.

The Belt and Road Initiative connects businesses and people around the world at reduced costs. This is a natural desire of economies craving a better tomorrow, particularly for an increasingly integrated Asia. Asia's intra-regional trade has surged to eurozone levels. Furthermore, high-level cross-border investments reflect the integration of complementary production capabilities and resources to serve both traditional Western consumers and surging Asian consumption.

According to the Asian Development Bank, Asia accounts for 60 percent of the world's growth. To sustain this growth, we need to identify and capture cross-country synergies and stimulate innovation. This is predicated on economic openness and good physical infrastructure which strengthens connectivity.

Initiative offers ASEAN a golden opportunity

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