BEIJING: The Belt and Road initiative is not only about the economy, it aims to bring the world together, making it a more peaceful and harmonious place for all, says Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.
He said this regional effort of China also emphasised appreciating and understanding different cultures and beliefs, good governance with accountability as well as promoting people-to-people relationship.
“When the world is faced with so many conflicts, the Belt and Road is a vision to strengthen the spirit of harmony, unity and value system.
“This is good for the world and the people,” Liow said.
The initiative, propounded by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, is gaining momentum with more countries participating in it.
China’s original target was to build economic connectivity with 64 nations along the ancient silk road and maritime route, via infrastructure development in recipient countries. But this forum has attracted participation from more than 100 nations.
Liow is part of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s delegation to China who attended the two-day Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. It ended yesterday.
On crucial infrastructure development, Liow noted that “we have good roads, railway system, seaports and airports and now we are going into e-commerce and improving our Internet service”.
Before arriving here, Najib made a stopover in Hangzhou to visit Alibaba headquarters and its founder and executive chairman Jack Ma.
The Chinese business magnate, who was appointed adviser to Malaysia’s digital economy last year, promised to help turn Malaysia into an e-commerce hub.
Meanwhile, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong, who oversees the small and medium enterprises, requested Ma to open up the Alibaba platform for Malaysian SMEs at a lower cost.
“There is a lot to be learnt before tapping into the e-commerce platform such as pricing, marketing and many more,” Dr Wee said.
Last month, 30 Malaysian businessmen and senior managers of public-listed companies became the first group from Asean to undergo a course on e-commerce conducted by Alibaba.
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