BRI has proved to enhance development capabilities of participating economies

By Song Wei Source:Global Times Published: 2019/4/22 20:05:28

Illustration: Luo Xuan/GT

Sustainable development is the common goal and wish of all countries in the world today. In line with this common goal, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is highly compatible with the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. China attaches great importance to and responds to the needs of participating countries for economic and social development, focusing on the fundamental issue of development and supporting infrastructure construction in BRI countries and regions. 

Based on their actual needs, China helps BRI participants strengthen their capabilities in areas like economic management, multilateral trade negotiations, public affairs management, and vocational education by actively sharing its development experience and transferring technology to promote sustainable development and jointly build a community of common destiny and shared interests.

First, China has shared its governance experience through the BRI. China exchanges governance experience with countries through training and seminars, which are rich in content and form, including lectures, presentations, and field trips enabling people to witness China's development in various fields. Under the support of China's foreign aid funds, the Institute of South-South Cooperation and Development was formally established at Peking University in April 2016. The school aims to share governance experience to help other developing countries cultivate high-end talent and jointly explore the path of diversified development. The exchanges between China and relevant countries on governance experience have deepened mutual understanding of each other's political systems, development experience, and different national conditions, thus playing an important role in promoting policy communication among various countries.

Second, the BRI helps strengthen management training. Given the strong demand from countries in facilitating industrialization, improving infrastructure and promoting the development of profitable industries, China has designed training programs in a targeted manner to foster a large number of management professionals for the economic and social development of these countries. For example, since many countries hope to learn from China's experience in industrial park development, China has held multilateral and bilateral training on special economic zones and industrial parks. Over the past six years, China has conducted nearly 100 seminars and trained more than 1,000 management professionals. Additionally, China has strived to strengthen planning and consultation cooperation to actively help countries formulate development plans for infrastructure, power generation and other fields. For instance, to adapt to the actual needs of Cambodia's economic and social development and to help improve its transportation network, which constrains its economic growth, China has helped Cambodia develop its national road network with aid funds, contributing to the sustainable development of the country's transportation sector.

Third, the BRI is able to promote technological capabilities. China heavily emphasizes the importance of training the technical skilled workers who are urgently needed for national economic development. Over the past six years, China has organized more than 1,000 professional training projects for at least 20,000 participants. For many years, China has held technical courses for the inspection and quarantine of agricultural products for Cambodian technicians, sharing knowledge about Chinese laws and regulations and introducing China's certification system and its inspection and quarantine process for animals, plants, hygiene, and food. This helps Cambodian inspection and quarantine professionals master skills and adopt them for practical work. To expand participation in technical training, China has also launched an overseas technical training model. Under the support of foreign aid funds, the International Centre for Bamboo and Rattan hosted a one-month overseas training course in Ethiopia in 2017, teaching more than 40 Ethiopian bamboo and rattan craftsmen about topics such as bamboo furniture design and production as well as sustainable management of bamboo resources. 

Moreover, China's support for countries' capacity building has been gradually expanding to high-tech fields. With Chinese assistance, Egypt's satellite assembly, integration, and test center project has entered the equipment development stage, with equipment production, processing and commissioning work to be implemented soon. It is China's first aid project with Egypt in aerospace cooperation, and it is Egypt's first aerospace infrastructure project in Africa. The implementation of this project will enhance the basic capabilities of the Egyptian aerospace industry and improve its aerospace professional pool, laying the foundation for cooperation in aerospace technology between the two countries.

The BRI has not only promoted economic and trade cooperation between China and countries along the route but has also significantly improved the governance and technological level of developing countries, thus contributing to the modernization process of developing countries and the realization of the 2030 sustainable development goals.

The author is an associate research fellow at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation under the Ministry of Commerce.


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