BEIJING, April 14 (INP) : China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that is pilot and major project of “One Belt, One Road" initiative (BRI) will foster development in Asia as a whole, by way of promoting mutually beneficial cooperation and connectivity, according to a Chinese academic.
“The CPEC and BRI are new model of international cooperation and inclusive globalisation,” said Prof Caihua Zhu, dean of School of International Economics at China Foreign Affairs University.
She said the initiative could help build a community of shared interests, responsibility and destiny, featuring mutual political trust, economic integration and cultural inclusiveness.
She made the remarks while speaking to a group of journalists from a number of South Asian countries, including Bangladesh, on the initiative and its implications for Asia, in Beijing last month.
In May, the Chinese government will hold a summit on the BRI, a landmark initiative of the country's President Xi Jinping.
During the summit, the country will sign an inter-governmental framework and financial agreement with Bangladesh, said Zhu.
The BRI plan involves China trying to export its industrial capacity and influencing the ancient Silk Road route in Eurasia and the maritime Silk Road through the Indian Ocean. More than 60 countries could ultimately be included in the scheme.
It covers about 65 percent of the world's population, about one-third of the world's GDP, and about a quarter of all the goods and services the world moves.
The professor said the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank are still very strict when it comes to lending and their resources are insufficient compared to the needs of the developing countries.
"The WB and the ADB can only offer financing services worth about $20 billion a year for Asia's infrastructure. This is far from enough,” she said.
Zhu said the Asian countries require $26 trillion for infrastructure development during 2016-2030.
According to the professor, the public sector currently makes up about 92 percent of the region's infrastructure investment, ranging from a high of over 90 percent in East Asia to a low of 62 percent in South Asia.
While speaking about the problems of traditional globalisation, she said globally there are divides between ocean countries and inland countries, developed and less developed. Domestically, there are divides between urban and rural, rich and poor.
She blamed infrastructure bottlenecks for these divides.
Using data from the ADB, Prof Zhu said over 400 million Asians still lack electricity, 300 million have no access to safe drinking water and 1.5 billion lack basic sanitary facilities.
Only 44 persons out of 100 have access to internet in the world. In South Asia, the ratio is 20 out of 100, the professor said using data from the World Bank.
Prof Zhu said international financial system, reluctant private sector and poor governance have been causing problems for Asia for a long time.
She said the emerging and developing Asia has become the world's growth engine.