The Chinese Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) is gaining more overseas popularity, according to the 2018 China National Image Global Survey released Friday.

About 20 percent of the overseas respondents have heard of the BRI and the ratio reached 40 percent or higher in India, Japan and Italy, the survey showed.

The top five countries with the highest awareness of the initiative were India (50 percent), Japan (43 percent), Italy (40 percent), the Republic of Korea (30 percent) and Russia (30 percent).

The BRI proposed by China in 2013, refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, aimed at building trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe, Africa and beyond.

The initiative’s positive impacts were widely affirmed, the report said, noting that the respondents in developing countries thought highly of the impacts on themselves as individuals, on their countries, and on the regional and global economies.

Jointly conducted by the Academy of Contemporary China and World Studies and Kantar from May to July 2018, the survey covered 11,000 people, aged between 18 and 65, from 22 countries.

The above mentioned data were drawn from 2,112 of the overseas respondents who know about the BRI.