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Australian experts weigh in on BRI's role

By Yang Yang | | Updated: 2022-07-07 06:40
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Daryl Guppy, president of Australia China Business Council's Northern Territory sub-council. [Photo provided to]

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a major contributor to economic growth in areas that have been ignored by other development programs, said Daryl Guppy, president of the Australia China Business Council's Northern Territory sub-council.

Guppy said he believes the BRI has four dimensions of benefit to boost growth in the post-pandemic era: hard, trade, soft and capital infrastructure.

BRI's hard infrastructure includes long-term investments in high-speed rails, roads and bridges that have accelerated the development of Central Asia as an economic force and changed the way underdeveloped geographic areas are able to access global markets.

The BRI also impacts the mechanisms of cross-border trade and trade settlement by removing friction points. This enables greater participation in economic activity and reduces corruption, Guppy said.

Low-cost and efficient, trade settlement is the essential foundation of economic growth that enables small businesses to grow and drives an increase in prosperity, he added.

The soft infrastructure of the BRI sets the foundation for the digital economy, which is where real economic growth will come from in the post-pandemic era, Guppy said, because it removes the drag of intermediaries in the trade transaction process.

Also, because it breaks down the barriers that inhibit economic growth, Guppy added, the BRI boosts shared prosperity. Further opening of the capital account, debt markets and the liberalization of investment conditions are part of currency integration, a precursor to the growth of China's capital markets.

A guideline for green development of the Belt and Road Initiative was released by China's National Development and Reform Commission on March 28. The green development pattern of jointly building the Belt and Road will be formed by 2030, according to the commission's announcement.

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