Business / Economy

China powers Asia-Pacific growth with infrastructure investment, connectivity

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-12-24 16:02

MANILA - The Belt and Road initiative and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), proposed by China to improve infrastructure and connectivity in the region, are set to boost multilateral ties and economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region.

Thanks to the joint efforts of China and related countries on infrastructure development and connectivity in the region, Asia-Pacific countries will see stronger social development and robust economic growth in the coming years.

Infrastructure development and connectivity

An Asian Development Bank (ADB) study found that $8 trillion is required for infrastructure investment in the Asia-Pacific region.

Asia-Pacific countries have realized that those with better infrastructure facilities develop faster and it's a shared recognition that regional economic integration is beneficial to all, analysts said.

The Belt and Road initiative was proposed as a trade and infrastructure network. It will connect Asia to Europe and Africa through the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

"That's where the Belt and Road initiative and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank come in. With ample investment, countries could accelerate infrastructure construction so as to further push forward economic growth," said Benito Lim, political science professor of Ateneo de Manila University.

For the past two years, the initiative, which offers opportunities for joint development among participating countries, has been widely accepted and applauded by countries on the three continents.

China's Belt and Road initiative will be essential for bridging the massive infrastructure spending deficit in Asia, said Richard Javad Heydarian, a specialist in Asian affairs and assistant professor in political science at De La Salle University.

China is in a unique position to improve inter-connectivity and improve the overall infrastructure landscape in Asia, he added.

China brings hope

During the APEC summit held in Manila this November, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced that China has established and put into operation the Silk Road Fund, and is now working actively with more than 50 countries to prepare for the launch of the AIIB.

Calling the AIIB an important platform supporting regional connectivity, Xi said China and other related countries are accelerating the preparations and the bank is expected to be formally established by the end of this year.

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