|China Focus: State firms seek opportunities under B&R initiative|
//english.dbw.cn 2017-05-09 09:55:46
The Mombasa-Nairobi railway in Kenya will begin trial operations this month after the project started two and a half years ago, which used Chinese expertise and technology.
The 480-km railway is the first phase of a line that will eventually connect Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan, and is a key infrastructure project under the Belt and Road (B&R) Initiative.
It is expected to lower freight transportation costs by 40 percent, as well as create jobs and drive economic growth in Kenya. The Chinese company in charge directly employed over 37,000 locals during the construction project.
"We saw huge potential in the B&R when it was first proposed in 2013," said Liu Qitao, chairman of China Communications Construction Co. (CCCC), whose subsidiary corporation is in charge of the railway project.
Companies under CCCC have built some 10,320 km of highways, 95 deep-water wharves, 10 airports, 152 bridges and 2,080 km of railways in B&R countries, Liu said at a press conference Monday.
The company's international projects reflect the enthusiasm of Chinese state firms for opportunities under the B&R -- a trade and infrastructure network that aims to connect Asia with Europe and Africa.
Over the last three years, 47 centrally administered state-owned enterprises (SOEs) have taken part in 1,676 projects in countries and regions along the B&R spanning energy, infrastructure and industrial cooperation, according to Xiao Yaqing, head of State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC).
Oil giant PetroChina has undertaken cooperation on 50 projects in 19 countries, facilitating more efficient oil supply and market networks, according to company president Wang Dongjin.
China's SOEs now have 9,112 agencies across 185 countries and regions.
While local economies have benefited from B&R projects, Chinese businesses have enriched their overseas expansion experience in areas such as management and personnel training.
In the process, Chinese companies have played an important role in driving globalization and contributing to global economic recovery through pushing for freer trade and cultural exchanges, Xiao noted.
The SASAC will continue to push SOEs to participate in major construction projects as part of the initiative to make greater contributions to the sustainable development of the world economy, Xiao said.
Earlier official data showed China had signed 126 billion U.S. dollars worth of new contracts for projects in countries along the Belt and Road in 2016, up 36 percent year on year.
In the context of weak global growth and sluggish investment and trade, the initiative has won extensive support. More than 40 countries and international organizations have already signed agreements with China on jointly advancing the initiative.
Nearly 20 more countries and over 20 international organizations are expected to sign cooperative documents with China during the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation from May 14 to 15 in Beijing, which will draw representatives from 110 countries.
Author： Source：xinhua Editor：Yang Fan