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B&R News: Cambodian PM hails China-sponsored dam "precious gift"
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B&R News: Cambodian PM hails China-sponsored dam "precious gift"
20 Feb 2019
The dam on the Stung Russei Chrum (Photo courtesy of China Huadian Lower Stung Russei Chrum Hydro-Electric Project Company) The China-built Lower Stung Russei Chrum Hydropower Project, the largest hydroelectric project in Cambodia generating more than 5.2 billion kilowatt hours since 2013, was hailed as "a precious gift from Chinese people" by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, People's Daily reported on Feb. 18. The Lower Stung Russei Chrum Hydropower Project will provide one billion kilowatt hours of electricity annually for Cambodia at a lower price after being put into use, Prime Minister Hun Sen announced at the completion ceremony, adding that the electricity price will be lowered year by year from 2015. At present, Cambodian residents have easier access to low-priced electricity, paying only $0.16 per kilowatt hour, and an increasing number of families are willing to buy televisions, electric fans, air conditioners and other home appliances. Before that, the majority of Cambodians could not afford electricity, which was as expensive as $0.9 per kilowatt per hour, and blackouts were prevalent nationwide. In addition, thousands of job opportunities were created thanks to the China-sponsored hydropower projects, and the low-priced electricity has contributed to the development of other sectors in Cambodia, including the textile industry, architecture, and manufacturing. Source: People's Daily Online
B&R News: Myanmar steering committee for implementation of Belt and Road held first meeting
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B&R News: Myanmar steering committee for implementation of Belt and Road held first meeting
19 Feb 2019
The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) could bring opportunities to Myanmar and the region, Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi said here on Monday. At the first meeting of the steering committee for implementation of tasks relating to the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, Aung San Suu Kyi also stressed the need to work on the projects under the BRI in harmony with the country's national priorities and said that the welfare of the people will be counted while implementing the projects. The BRI could promote cooperation in all sectors including infrastructure, the state counselor added. Vice-President U Myint Swe called for the engagement between respective ministries and regional governments for better implementation of projects under the framework of BRI and highlighted the need to choose the right projects which can promote the development of the country and its people. The steering committee which was formed in the end of September, 2018, is chaired by State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi. Vice-President U Myint Swe serves as vice chairman and other ministers and regional chief ministers are the members. The committee is tasked to implement works relating to the establishment of Myanmar-China economic corridor and Myanmar-China border economic cooperation zone under the Belt and Road Initiative. Source:Xinhua News Agency
B&R News: Silk Road city Xi'an sees soaring foreign trade
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B&R News: Silk Road city Xi'an sees soaring foreign trade
19 Feb 2019
Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province, gained a 29.58 percent year-on-year increase in import and export volume in 2018, the city government announced in its work report. Xi'an's total foreign trade valued at 330.4 billion yuan (about 48.8 billion U.S. dollars) in 2018, accounting for 94 percent of the volume of the whole province, the report said. The city's foreign trade dependence degree, the ratio of foreign trade volume to the city's gross domestic output (GDP), rose for three consecutive years to 39.57 percent. The foreign trade market has become more open and vibrant, said Lyu Hengjun, head of the city's bureau of commerce. Trade between Xi'an and the United States grew by 17.5 percent and its trade with the Republic of Korea grew by 33.9 percent year on year. Trade with countries along the Belt and Road including Singapore, Malaysia, India, Vietnam and Russia also increased. The city maintained an open economy with strong upward momentum, as the actual use of foreign direct investment rose by 19.7 percent to 6.35 billion U. S. dollars in 2018. Xi'an, known in ancient times as Chang'an, is the starting point of the Silk Road and plays a key role in the Belt and Road Initiative. According to local customs authorities, the city launched 1,235 China-Europe freight trains in 2018, 6.4 times the number in 2017, transporting a total of 1.2 million tonnes of goods with a value of 1.72 billion U.S. dollars. Source:Xinhua News Agency
B&R News: BRI promotes global trade, connectivity: think tanks
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B&R News: BRI promotes global trade, connectivity: think tanks
18 Feb 2019
Merchandise trade between China and countries along the BRI totaled 1.3 trillion U.S. dollars in 2018, a year-on-year growth of 16.3 percent, China's Ministry of Commerce said in January. A research report published by trade credit insurer Euler Hermes late last month says nations involved in the BRI will see higher trade volumes, even if they are yet to receive any direct investment from China. The report estimates that the BRI resulted in 460 billion dollars worth of investments in the five years since its inception in 2013. The BRI aims to build infrastructure in countries accounting for a combined 68 percent of the world's population and 36 percent of its GDP, said the Center for Global Development, a nonprofit U.S. think tank. The BRI investment has continued this year. From Jan. 2 to Jan. 15, the value of new BRI projects was 4.5 billion dollars, according to the RWR Advisory Group, a Washington-based research house, with the highest proportion of this going to sub-Saharan Africa. At a roundtable held by the Russian International Affairs Council in December, Assistant Professor Fabienne Bossuyt said Central Asia is a region that is basically landlocked and is suffering from its geographical location in terms of its trade with the rest of the world. The very topic of connectivity became somewhat trendy since China came up with its BRI in 2013, Bossuyt said. Greg Earl, a member of the board of the Australia-ASEAN Council, said in a recent piece in The Interpreter that a survey by HSBC of global businesses in 34 countries which rely on connectivity to conduct their businesses across borders found they regard the BRI as having a huge impact. A recent conference held by the CIMB ASEAN Research Institute, a prominent institution, concluded that the BRI "is important for ASEAN especially given the significant infrastructure needs in the region." James Curran, a professor at the University of Sydney and non-resident fellow at the Lowy Institute, noted that while some politicians played domestic politics on China, the government and the opposition have stuck to pragmatism. Japan's move is aligned with the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry's view that "participating in China's BRI offers a significant opportunity for Japan," wrote Aurelia George Mulgan, a professor at the University of New South Wales, Canberra. Source:Xinhua News Agency
B&R News: China-Laos railway to complete 90 pct bridge, tunnel construction in 2019
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B&R News: China-Laos railway to complete 90 pct bridge, tunnel construction in 2019
18 Feb 2019
Over 90 percent of the tendered bridge and tunnel projects of the China-Laos railway will be completed by the end of 2019, the construction company has said. Li Bingxuan, general manager of the Laos-China Railway Co., Ltd. (LCRC), said on Wednesday during the China-Laos Railway Construction Working Conference that the construction of the key project under the Belt and Road Initiative is entering the critical and decisive phase in 2019. The LCRC, the joint venture between China and Laos undertaking the railway's construction and future operation, will continue the work with high quality and efficiency, Li said. Specifically, the railway's roadbed and bridge projects will be 95 percent complete, while the tunnel projects will be 90 percent complete at the end of 2019, said Li, adding that the building of the base for track laying and railway stations will be started soon. According to Li, in 2018, the construction of the key and difficult projects and the bottleneck projects of the railway went steadily and smoothly. By the end of 2018, the accumulated investment of the railway had reached 11.8 billion yuan (around 1.7 billion U.S. dollars), accounting for 31.5 percent of the total. The China-Laos railway was promoted by leaders of the two countries as an interconnectivity project under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative. The construction of the railway began in December 2016, and the railway is expected to open to traffic in December, 2021. The China-Laos railway has a length 414 km with bridges of 62 km and tunnels of 198 km, linking Mohan-Boten border gate in northern Laos and capital Vientiane. The operating speed on the route is designed at 160 km per hour. Source:Xinhua News Agency
B&R News: China's investment to grow faster in 2019
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B&R News: China's investment to grow faster in 2019
14 Feb 2019
A report from the Economic and Strategic Planning Department of the Bank of China (Hong Kong) forecast a rise of 7.3 percent in China's aggregated investment in 2019, up 1.4 percentage points from 2018. Investment's contribution to the growth of China's gross domestic product will rise by 0.5 percentage points to 2.64 percentage points. In other words, about 40 percent of the year's economic growth will be generated by investment. Infrastructure facilities will continue to take a large portion, but the emphasis will be put on improving weak links and consolidating the less-developed areas. Last October, the State Council issued a guideline on beefing up the investment in nine kinds of infrastructure facilities including railways, highways and waterways, airports, water conservancy, energy and environmental protection as well as infrastructure conducive to agriculture and rural development. Analysts with the Bank of China (Hong Kong) called for particular attention to be paid to investment in new types of infrastructure facilities such as artificial intelligence, industrial internet and the Internet of Things. These new types of infrastructure facilities will lay a solid foundation for the transformation and upgrading of the manufacturing industry and inspire manufacturers to make innovations and pursue faster growth. Source: Xinhua News Agency
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