China held its Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing this month, showcasing the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) which aims to support regional connectivity and infrastructure in Southeast Asia, Central Asia and Europe.
Australian trade minister Steven Ciobo was in attendance at the forum. He said China explained the BRI, under which the country is to invest up to US$150 billion along the Belt and Road over the next five years.
“Participants had productive discussions on planned activities along the Belt and Road and how they should be delivered,” Mr Ciobo said.
“Australia supports the aims of initiatives such as Belt and Road that improve infrastructure development and increase investment opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region.”
Mr Ciobo said the benefits of infrastructure investment and connectivity across the region would be maximised when a transparent, collaborative and planned approach is followed.
“This requires a level playing field based on market principles and adherence to international best practice in financing,” he said.
“Australian companies have the expertise and experience to contribute to Belt and Road infrastructure projects. Open bidding processes will lead to better outcomes for all countries.”
The BRI is a vast strategy to connect China with parts of Asia, Europe and Africa by building roads, rail and maritime infrastructure.
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