Business / Economy

Belt and Road initiative 'a new step in globalization': former French PM

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-09-09 09:17

HONG KONG - The Belt and Road initiative is "a new step in globalization," said former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin on Thursday.

The initiative is an emblematic example of active policy pledging for better connections between continents through infrastructure like roads, highways, ports and airports, he said.

In a very divided world, the global community is facing a lot of crisis, such as recessions and difficulties in investment and monetary policies, and thus "it's important to have positive projects," he told Xinhua at a forum, Belt and Road Summit - Financing Through Silk Road Bond, organized by the International Capital Market Association and Dagong Global Credit Rating.

The initiative, proposed by China in 2013, refers to building a Silk Road Economic Belt and a 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. It is aimed at building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along ancient trade routes.

One of the main assets of the initiative is that "it gives the perspective for the world community trying to improve new growth in regions that do have the capacity in growing fast," he said.

For example, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa, they have the capacity to achieve better and stronger growth, he noted.

Meanwhile, the program will stabilize regions, which are often targeted by terrorism, he said, adding that "more stability is often the common interests of every country in the world."

"The third factor is that it will create more understanding and cooperation spirit between the countries. So that's why the culture factor is also very important for growth and stability," de Villepin stressed.

Last, the Belt and Road will be a fantastic example for the world community to encourage new initiatives in different regions, for example, for Europe in dealing with Africa, he said.

The world community can "duplicate" the concept of the Belt and Road, he said, believing that "the main change is to go from bilateral cooperation to collective and world cooperation to create more growth and encourage different actors going forward."

He calls the initiative "a game changer" in various aspects.

It can be "a game changer for trade and business" thanks to physical and digital infrastructure making economies ever closer and more interdependent, he noted.

It can be "a game changer for financial exchanges" through international mobilization of public banks, insurance companies, private investors and specific funds, he said.

Last but not least, it can be "a game changer for peace and development" given the stronger political and diplomatic ties it will help create among countries along and around the Belt and Road, he said.

Besides his political career, Dominique de Villepin is also active in writing and his books cover poetry and fiction as well as essays on history, international relations and art.

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