The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) proposed by China has an immense international effect and will definitely bring a strategic change, a Qatari think-tank chief said.

The BRI will certainly enhance exchange and understanding among all peoples, Mohamed al-Mokhtar Khalil, director of the Aljazeera Center for Studies, told Xinhua in an interview.

The initiative, proposed by China in 2013, refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, which aims at building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes of the Silk Road.

Khalil said that his own interest in BRI was then reminiscent of the historical Silk Road, a project that requires huge potentials and understandings with many countries.

Touching on the BRI’s impact on Qatar and the region, Khalil explained that it emanated from the fact that China is a strong player in the global economy and its position as an active economic partner for Qatar.

Whatever contributes to the development of the Chinese economy will definitely contribute to the development of economic relations with Qatar and the more benefits China obtains, the more its partners, including Qatar, will benefit, he said.

Regarding his future vision of the BRI, Khalil expected that all parties to this initiative will certainly show keenness on its success.

By July 2018, more than 100 states and international organisations have signed documents of cooperation with China within the framework of the BRI. The volume of China’s trade in goods with the countries along the Belt and Road is up to 5.5 trillion U.S. dollars.

Qatar, a founding member of the Asian infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which had been founded through calls from China, was in the forefront of countries that supported and actively participated in the BRI.

During the visit by Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to China in 2014, the two sides signed a memorandum of understanding on partnership in the building of the Belt and Road.

Beijing expressed readiness then to go on with efforts with Doha to link the development strategy in the two countries together and enhance bilateral cooperation within the framework of the Initiative.