The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a timely project aimed at addressing global risks, said Egypt’s former Prime Minister Essam Sharaf.
“The BRI is a timely initiative. Chinese initiatives are essential for humanity. They address global threats and promote the (building of a) community with a shared future,” Sharaf told Xinhua in a recent interview in Cairo.
In the past years, Sharaf has paid close attention to China’s development and studied the concepts and initiatives proposed by China in the past decade.
Sharaf is very familiar with the numbers about the initiative. “It is important to keep in mind that the BRI was made by China and now has been expanding,” he said.
Over the past decade, more than 3,000 cooperation projects have been initiated, with nearly 1 trillion U.S. dollars invested, he added.
Egypt and many other African countries are benefiting a lot from the initiative, Sharaf said, adding that the projects implemented under the initiative have created many job opportunities.
Sharaf pointed out that after the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation was held in 2019, the world has undergone a lot of changes in the past four years, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ukraine crisis, and worldwide inflations, which have led to the economic slowdown and even a deep economic crisis in many countries.
In the post-pandemic era, how to achieve high-quality development has become a focus of many countries, Sharaf said, expressing his belief that the initiative has great potential.
“The BRI can help realize the ultimate goal of development by promoting regional development,” he said, suggesting that efforts should be made to strengthen people-to-people bonds which can build trust and peace and provide a foundation for regional development.
“I believe the ultimate goal of the initiative is to come together in a global partnership to build a community with a shared future, more equitable global governance, and a new order characterized by multilateralism, cooperation and negotiations,” Sharaf said.