The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which echoes the spirit of the ancient land and maritime Silk Roads that linked Asia, Africa, and Europe, has indeed yielded remarkable achievements and fruitful results since it was put forward in 2013, becoming an international cooperative platform with extensive participation and an international popular public product in the world today. Its golden principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits has been widely acknowledged. 126 countries and 29 international organizations have signed BRI cooperation documents with China. Total trade between China and other Belt and Road countries has exceeded $6 trillion, and China's investment in these countries has surpassed $80 billion, with Chinese companies generating over $2 billion in tax revenue and 300,000 jobs for locals.
The BRI has received strong endorsement and warm support of many international organizations including the United Nations and the World Bank. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on many occasions that the UN agrees with and supports the BRI and that it is of great significance to the UN's goal of reducing the poverty population globally.The findings from the World Bank Report show that the BRI significantly reduces the shipment times and trade costs for the world, with the average reduction ranging between 1.2%-2.5% and 1.1%-2.2% respectively.
The BRI is now becoming the mainstream of China-UK co-operation. The UK Government has appointed a BRI special envoy, established an expert board and participated in the Belt and Road Forum Advisory Council. China Railway Express has run freight trains between China's Yiwu and London, which offered a new, on-land option for the movement of goods between China and Britain, and extended the "Belt and Road" to the very western end of Europe.
The second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) held in Beijing this week will see more global engagement in BRI. I hope Scotland will seize the opportunities and push our fruitful relationship to a new high.
Chinese Consul General