With the formal establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank on Christmas Day, China’s drive to advance the Belt and Road Initiative is wrapping up a year of fruitful progress, particularly in its neighborhood.
The Belt and Road Initiative aims to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road routes.
Many countries along the route expect the initiative to create more development opportunities and promote an enhanced regional connectivity.
An Indonesian expert believes his country will partner with China in pushing forward the initiative.
SOUNDBITE(ENGLISH) ：DINNA WISNU, Indonesian Paramadina University
“The initiative of China to develop One Belt One Road has been responded by Indonesia, especially under President Joko Widodo, to match with his plan to strengthen the maritime sector of Indonesia. And I think the idea is, because the One Belt One Road is specifically focused on the land, infrastructure development, so the parts on the maritime is for Indonesia to make sure that we also benefit from the connectivity that China tries to create for the next century.”
Besides the Belt and Road, the China-initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, or AIIB, was also launched last Friday, giving a new impetus to the region’s development.
The expert believes Indonesia and the whole region at large will benefit from the establishment of the bank.
SOUNDBITE1(ENGLISH) DINNA WISNU, Indonesian Paramadina University
“In the short term Indonesia will benefit by the availability of money, pool of fund designated by China, more specifically, and some other member countries of AIIB for infrastructure development. And secondly, if we remember the promise of Joko Widodo to try to reform the international financial system, AIIB will try to create an alternative way of running financial sector and that will be, actually, a good way for Indonesia to also have a say in the international system.”