Speaking at a press conference on the sidelines of the National People’s Congress, Xu Shaoshi, the chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said that the idea of industrial capacity cooperation would be a “springboard” for the Belt and Road Initiative, involving 65 countries.
“The Belt and Road Initiative is very important,” Xu said, in reply to a reporter’s question. “It involves both bilateral and multilateral agreements. The planning and designing of the initiative was issued last year, and different localities have since issued their own programs. It involves 65 countries, most of whom are in the process of industrialization and urbanization, and therefore the Belt and Road appeals to their interests. In addition, thirty countries have signed a memorandum on co-building the Belt and Road,” Xu said.
“We are working on different corridors and these are now being contracted and the projects are moving forward quickly.” Most advanced, he noted, was the corridor going through Kazakhstan with $13 billion of investment, but also the Pakistan corridor which will be the subject of a $30 billion investment.
Xu said, “We will further improve our cooperation with a number of countries in capacity sharing. We will export our manufacturing of equipment, for instance, in railway production. It will be an import springboard for these countries in their collaboration with the Belt and Road. We have such agreements in our cooperation in building the railroad through Laos and Thailand, a railroad to Moscow, the inter-hemispheric railroad with Peru and the Western expressway in the United States.” Further, “It also characterizes our agreement to build the nuclear power plant[s] in Great Britain and in Pakistan. The overseas investment is promoting our export of equipment, which is up 37%. In 2016 we will be working further with these countries which have already a certain momentum with us, and we will give out specifics on these. And production capacity cooperation will become more prominent and receive more financial support.”