BRI can help bind Britain’s economic Brexit wounds

By Xiao Xin Source:Global Times Published: 2019/4/3 17:33:40

A swift decision to join the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) could help bind the Brexit wounds that plague the hearts and minds of British people. 

The sooner the UK can join the ranks of Italy and Luxembourg to embrace the BRI opportunity, the better the chances it can turn things around. 

It's discouraging that Britain has often made headlines because of the impasse and turmoil over Brexit since the 2016 referendum set the country on course for EU withdrawal. 

A conspicuous example is an estimate by accountancy firm PwC at the end of last year that the UK risks falling to No.7 in global GDP rankings in 2019 from being the world's fifth largest economy, with France and India on course to outrank it, on condition that the shock of a no-deal Brexit could be successfully avoided. 

The embitterment resulting from several failed attempts to reach a withdrawal agreement despite British Prime Minister Theresa May's doggedness over Brexit should push the nation to think out of the box. 

That suggests efforts to explore growth opportunities that can mend the Brexit wound. With the push for global inclusive development disrupted by anti-globalization and protectionism led by the US, it is fair to say that there's no better choice than the BRI that the UK can bank on to reinvigorate its languishing economy.

As of the end of 2018, China's merchandise trade with countries and regions along the BRI routes surpassed $5 trillion, creating numerous jobs and taxes for local economies, Ning Jizhe, deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission, China's top economic planning agency, disclosed at the China Development Forum in Beijing in late March.

The number not only speaks for China's intensive involvement in the initiative, but also portrays tremendous BRI-enabled opportunities for countless economies along the routes. 

If the UK can free itself from its US-oriented mentality and move swiftly on the China-proposed initiative, it will likely be catapulted to a place among the fastest-growing economies in the G7 from being among the slowest now, considering the enormous growth potential the UK is set to tap in trade with not only China but all BRI economies. 

Signing a BRI accord with China as swiftly as possible could therefore perhaps be the wisest move on the part of the UK as it continues going through the Brexit torment.

The author is a reporter with the Global Times.


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