Sino South Asian infrastructure projects propel regional trade
Sino South Asian infrastructure projects propel regional trade

Sino-South Asian infrastructure projects propel regional trade

KUNMING: Walking the talk of high-standard opening up, China and South Asian countries have witnessed substantial progress in enhancing connectivity and infrastructure development.

Statistics from China’s Commerce Ministry indicate that, up to now, China’s cumulative investment in the South Asian region has reached nearly US$15bil. Completed project contract turnover has exceeded US$200bil.

From Gwadar Port in Pakistan to more than 30 road and bridge projects in Bangladesh, as well as other collaborative projects such as the expansion of Nepal’s Pokhara International Airport, China has made significant contributions to the development and connectivity of South Asian countries and propelled local economies.

Among the array of infrastructure achievements is the China-Laos Railway, which is more than a mere connection of tracks and is touted as a bridge of communication.

The railway’s international passenger service, inaugurated on April 13, connects the Laotian capital Vientiane directly with Kunming, capital of Yunnan province.

This has presented international participants attending events like the China-South Asia Expo with a novel travel option.

The five-day event in Kunming, attracted over 30,000 exhibitors as well as representatives and guests from 85 countries, regions and international organisations.

Mohammad Fazle Rabbi, a Bangladeshi entrepreneur participating in the expo, was impressed by the convenience of the China-Laos Railway during his trip.

“I envision the China-Laos Railway as a bridge, fostering connectivity between China and the Indochina peninsula, and potentially extending its reach to facilitate exchanges between China and the Indian Ocean in the future,” the entrepreneur told Xinhua.

As of Aug 15, the Mohan entry-exit border handled a total of 246 cross-border passenger trains from China and Laos, carrying some 53,000 passengers from 53 countries and regions.

Along with the railway, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), launched in 2013, also serves as an example of China’s booming transportation cooperation with neighboring countries.

By the end of 2022, the CPEC had brought cumulative direct investment of US$25.4bil to Pakistan, generating around 236,000 job opportunities. It also contributed to the construction of 510km of highways, 8,000 megawatts of power generation and 886km of national core power transmission networks in Pakistan.

Additionally, in Sri Lanka, a major highway was completed, while in Bangladesh, a tunnel under the Karnaphuli River was built. The Maldives also benefited, with its first-ever cross-sea bridge erected. These endeavours are examples of China’s collaborative efforts with South Asian countries.

As infrastructure construction accelerates, interconnectivity drives mutual prosperity. Afghan pine nuts have gained a reputation for excellence, yet due to past transportation constraints, their market value remained compromised.

In response, China established an “aerial corridor for pine nuts”, allowing a large volume of Afghan pine nuts to enter the Chinese market.

Currently, more than 10,000 tonnes of Afghan pine nuts have been enjoyed by Chinese consumers, while Afghan farmers have reaped over 400mil yuan in revenue. — Xinhua

Sila Baca Juga

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