CPEC to change landscape of economic cooperation: China Daily


The China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and its pilot project (CPEC) are expected to change the landscape of economic cooperation in South Asia, reports China Daily, quoting official sources.

The initiative comprising the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime SilkRoad proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013 brings together countries in Asia, Europe and Africa via land and maritime networks.

Now under the Belt and Road Initiative, projects such as the BCIM Economic Corridor and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor have greatly promoted economic development in related countries and injected dynamism into regional cooperation in South Asia, Chinese vice Commerce Minister, Gao Yan said.

In recent years, China and South Asian countries have conducted cooperation in such areas as trade, investment, infrastructure and services.

By the end of 2015, direct investment from China in South Asian countries hit $12.29 billion and investment from South Asian countries in China reached $890 million, sources said adding that China has become the largest source of foreign investment for some South Asian countries.

Chinese official data showed that trade between China and member countries of the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation –Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka — hit $111.22 billion in 2015, up 4.9 percent from a year before.

The Belt and Road Initiative involves 26 countries, which represent nearly 30 percent of the global gross domestic product and 63 percent of the global population.