China and Mali signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in Bamako, capital of Mali, on Monday, on the cooperation within the framework of the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI). 

BRI was proposed by China in 2013 with the aim of building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa. 

The MOU was signed by Chinese Ambassador to Mali Zhu Liying and Tiebile Drame, Mali’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in the presence of Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita. 

“The BRI is a very promising initiative;” Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta

According to the Memorandum, China and Mali will cooperate closer in policies, infrastructure, trade, investment and people-to-people communications. 

The two sides pledged to connect major strategic plans and policies of the two countries, strengthen the interconnection of infrastructure, further deepen cooperation in investment and trade, industry and finance, set up a network of sister cities, and strengthen exchanges and cooperation at the local level and among media, think tanks and youth. 

Malian President spoke highly of the Belt & Road Initiative, saying that “The BRI is a very promising initiative. I must say that it is worth getting our high attention and it is wonderful. Proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping, it shows once again that China’s leadership is not only in economic and political aspects, but also in morals and cultural aspects.” 

Chinese Ambassador Zhu said: “This year marks the 70th Anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, and next year marks the 60th Anniversary of the establishment of Diplomatic relations between China and Mali.

It is of great significance for Mali to join the Belt & Road Initiative at this important historical moment as it will lay a new foundation and inject renewed vigor into the higher level of development.”