Belt and Road Initiative a positive contribution to world economy: Singapore minister
Published: Oct 28, 2018 11:01 AM
The Belt and Road Initiative, a multilateral development plan proposed and led by China, is a positive contribution to the world economy, Singapore's Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing said.

Speaking in an interview earlier this week with visiting Chinese reporters, Chan said that he is aware that some foreign media have raised questions about the intent and financial viability of the grand initiative.

"For Singapore, we think this development initiative with a very large scope is a positive contribution to the world economic development," said Chan.

The Belt and Road Initiative was aimed at promoting economic development and shared prosperity by investing in infrastructure and boosting regional connectivity so that the economies can be better integrated to create more opportunities.

Infrastructural investment has often proved to be able to lead economic development by creating demand that would otherwise not have been there.

Chan said that the success of the Belt and Road Initiative will depend on how the partners and stakeholders work together to shape the initiative going forward.

He called for efforts to upgrade the multilateral system, particularly from the World Trade Organization, in accordance with the current global context. In addition, Chan said it is necessary for the projects to be market-based in terms of evaluation and risk control.

He said that countries around the world should work hard to integrate the production and value chains rather than resolving to protectionist measures which will result in fragmentation and isolation of production and value chains.

Meanwhile, it is necessary to make adjustments at the local level, which means that countries must distribute the net gains from globalization to help those who have fallen behind so as to reduce backlash.

Singapore, a key economic and trade partner for China, has offered to be a launch pad for Chinese companies venturing into third-party markets, especially in Southeast Asia.

Recently, it has launched Infrastructure Asia, a platform envisioned as a bridge for different industry players in regional infrastructure development.