UN and Ethiopian Government Officials laud the role the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) plays in promoting growth and development in the East African country in particular and on the African continent in general.
They made the remarks at a two-day Sustainable Investment Forum kicked off on Tuesday in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia.
Focusing on the BRI and organised by the UN Development Program (UNDP) and the Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC), the forum is part of the sustainable investment platform facilities program (BRI-SIP Programme), which is supported by the UN Peace and Development Trust Fund (UNPDF) of UNDESA.
In his opening remarks, the Chinese Ambassador to Ethiopia, Tan Jian, said China upholds the spirit of peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit in advancing the BRI.
The Ambassador reiterated that China aims to align the BRI with the UN 2030 agenda for sustainable development as well as with the African Union’s agenda 2063 and also with the growth and transformation plan of Ethiopia so as to maximise the benefit by seeking synergy among the initiative.
“We follow market rules and internationally accepted practices; and we are guided by the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits,” the Ambassador has noted.
The investment forum is expected to enhance strategic partnerships to leverage investment opportunities to match national priorities and direct BRI financing towards critical sectors for economic growth and regional cooperation.
It also explores perspectives, opportunities, and challenges of sustainable investment in BRI partner countries.
Reiterating the role the BRI plays in promoting global growth and prosperity on win-win basis, Abebe Abebayehu, Commissioner of the Ethiopian Investment Commission, noted that the forum is in line with the efforts of his Office that endeavours to attract sustainable investment to the country.
“The Belt and Road Initiative is an excellent initiative proposed by China. I would call it China’s offering to the world to promote global growth and prosperity on win-win cooperation basis. And we are very proud to be a partner in this initiative,” the Commissioner said.
The UNDP Resident Representative to Ethiopia, Turhan Saleh, told Xinhua that the BRI initiative plays an important role in driving development of economies in Ethiopia, and in Africa in general.
“The BRI has already a tremendous impact on development of economies on the variety of ways. The BRI initiative as moving forward is also a very powerful tool for us to achieve the development goals of the country and the region.
It can do so by sharing knowledge, expertise; it can help by attracting investment…it can help by sharing technology, bringing new technologies,” he has noted.
Launched in 2013, the BRI envisions enhanced global economic cooperation with five major pillars of policy coordination, infrastructure connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration and people-to-people exchanges.