Chinese President Xi Jinping has pledged today 8.7-billion-USD assistance for developing countries and international organizations under the Belt and Road Initiative.
At the plenary session of the Belt and Road Forum where some 29 leaders, including Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn, were in attendance, the President outlined the most ambitious plan for the "Belt and Road Initiative".
President Xi also pledged additional 14.5 billion USD to the Silk Road Fund set up in 2014 to finance infrastructural projects for countries along the belt and road.
Moreover, China will establish up to 50 joint laboratories in countries along the belt to enhance cooperation on innovation, he added.
Furthermore, the President called for closer economic cooperation among countries across Asia, Europe and Africa.
The Belt and Road Initiative covers 60 countries starting from South Pacific through South and Central Asia to Europe and Africa.
Among the infrastructure projects that are part of the initiative include the Addis Ababa-Djibouti Railway that connects the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa with the port of Djibouti.
The Jakarta-Bandung, China-Laos and Hungary-Serbia railway lines as well as the upgrading of Gwadar and Piraeus ports are also among the projects launched to realize the initiative, it was learned.
More projects are also expected to be launched to improve network features land-sea-air transportation routes and information and communications systems.
Meanwhile, addressing a high-level dialogue held on the sidelines of the Forum, Prime Minister Hailemariam said China is playing a critical role in global development and remains a key partner for growth and prosperity across the developing world.
Many developing countries, especially Africa, have continued to view China as a successful economic model and reliable ally in the fight against poverty and in the quest for prosperity, he elaborated.
According to the Premier, China has continued to deliver its commitments as an emerging global power by taking the lead in global cooperation initiatives such as the Belt and Road platform.
He praised the Initiative saying "it is the largest and non-conflicting economic cooperation of the 21st century, unique in its vision and set to leveraging from Chinese rapid economic growth and best practices."
Hailemariam believes that the initiative brings unique opportunity for enhanced regional cooperation, sustainable economic growth and achievement of the global development Agenda for 2030.
He stressed that the Belt and Road Initiative is aligned to Africa's vision for integration, industrialization and sustainable development, including the African Union Agenda 2063.
Since its launching about three years ago, the Belt and Road Initiative has made progress in various cooperation areas and won warm response from the belt countries, according to the Prime Minister.
The forum which started today aims at reviewing the progress made so far and discussing ways of boosting and building cooperation platforms.
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