Business / Economy

Revival of ancient Silk Road 'essential' for Asian nations

By He Na and Xue Chaohua in Lanzhou (China Daily) Updated: 2014-05-29 07:42

Editor's note: During his visit to Kazakhstan in September, President Xi Jinping proposed that China and Central Asia join hands to build a Silk Road economic belt to boost cooperation. The idea has been widely echoed in Central Asian countries, becoming an encouraging blueprint for Chinese areas along the Silk Road that has linked Asia and Europe for more than 2,000 years. In the next three weeks, China Daily reporters will travel through the belt. They will show the progress and expectations of the countries, businesses and peoples on the route.

The Silk Road economic belt provides a historic opportunity for the development of all Asia, but regional cooperation still faces challenges that require countries to enhance mutual trust and increase communication and cooperation, a senior Foreign Ministry official said on Wednesday.

Revival of ancient Silk Road 'essential' for Asian nations

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"Reviving the Silk Road economic belt is not only needed for China's economic development, given that China has uneven development in our eastern and western regions, but it is also in the interests of other Asian countries," said Liu Jianchao, assistant minister of foreign affairs, at the Asia Cooperation Dialogue Forum on Silk Road Cooperation.

The event in Lanzhou, Gansu province, attracted about 200 people, including government officials from 28 of the 33 ACD member countries and representatives from domestic academic institutions.

"Asian countries all face pressure in their national economic transitions. Deepening cooperation among countries and promoting the regional flow of production are issues that all of Asia needs to solve," Liu said.

Liu also suggested that Asian countries build up regional business and trade cooperation, and promote the establishment of an Asian free trade zone.

"The infrastructure in Asian countries is comparatively undeveloped. Promoting and improving the construction of infrastructure in ACD member countries is vital to the development of the Silk Road economic belt, and capital is a big problem. China calls for establishing an Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank," he said.


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