China pledges additional $14.5 billion for Belt and Road Initiative



China will contribute an additional 100 billion yuan (14.5 billion U.S. dollars) to the Silk Road Fund to scale up financing support for the Belt and Road Initiative.

Chinese President Xi Jinping made the announcement during his speech at the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing on Sunday.

Named after the historic Silk Road, the Belt and Road Initiative was proposed by President Xi in 2013 to chart out new territories for international cooperation.

The project will see the creation of a network of trade routes that seek to connect Asia, Africa and Europe.

China has lauded the Initiative as a new way to boost global development, aimed at expanding links between Asia, Africa, Europe and beyond, underpinned by billions of dollars in infrastructure investment.

Xi said the world must create conditions that promote open development and encourage the building of systems of “fair, reasonable and transparent global trade and investment rules”.

“Trade is the important engine of economic development,” Xi said.

29 heads of state and government leaders are attending the two-day Forum in Beijing to embrace a Chinese solution to stimulate global growth and promote prosperity for all.

The attending African leaders are expected to ask President Xi to ensure that the Belt and Road Initiative creates employment opportunities for locals in their countries, as it is expected to facilitate massive infrastructural development.

The attending leaders will also work to identify future cooperation areas, and seek ways to advance policy coordination, facilities connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration, and people-to-people exchanges between nations.

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