BEIJING, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has evolved into a beacon of economic growth for participating countries with more emphasis on innovation and sustainability, injecting much-needed impetus into global recovery.
In the eyes of Han Wenxiu, a senior official with the Central Committee for Financial and Economic Affairs, the BRI, proposed by China eight years ago, has been increasingly oriented toward achieving innovative and sustainable growth.
"Together with the international community, we help low-income countries address their debt issues and have made the most contributions to the G20 Debt Services Suspension Initiative and debt extension," he said.
To ensure debt sustainability, China has launched a Debt Sustainability Framework for participating countries to optimize the policy system for risk prevention and control and improve the quality and efficiency of investment.
Jin Liqun, president of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, also noted that investment has been stepped up in the new energy sector with cooperation between China and BRI countries further enhanced.
This is conducive to the economic transformation and growth in participating countries, Jin said.
Calling the initiative a popular public platform for international cooperation, Han listed a number of mega projects such as the China-Laos railway and Jakarta-Bandung High Speed Railway that have brought substantial benefits to local people.
By 2020, China's trade with BRI partner countries exceeded 9.2 trillion U.S. dollars, and China's aggregated direct investment in these countries reached nearly 140 billion dollars.
Emerging sectors such as the digital economy have also been a key area for cooperation, Han said, adding that by stepping up cooperation in innovation, China has shared the fruits of the new round of technological revolution and industrial reform with its BRI partners.
Sustainable development, which is seen as key to post-pandemic recovery and long-term economic growth, is also reflected in the BRI cooperation in sectors including health and poverty alleviation.
Since 2020, the epidemic-prevention materials transported via China-Europe freight train services have reached more than 13 million pieces, and the COVID-19 vaccines provided by China to more than 110 countries in the world have exceeded 1.7 billion doses.
"The joint construction of the Belt and Road contributed significantly to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic," Han said.
A recent World Bank report focusing on 71 economies geographically located along BRI corridors, noted that the BRI projects could help lift 7.6 million people out of extreme poverty and 32 million people out of moderate poverty globally.