by Marwa Yahya
CAIRO, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- The China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has witnessed plenty of success, with its role set to grow during China's 14th Five-Year Plan, former Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf has said.
"The BRI continued steadily garnering success over the past seven years, even during the time of COVID-19," said Sharaf, also a member of the Advisory Council of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, in an interview with Xinhua.
With the participation of more than 160 countries and international organizations, the BRI has become a bridge connecting China to the world, he said.
Defining the BRI as a mechanism for international cooperation that requires partners to think and work together as well as benefit each other, Sharaf stressed that the initiative mainly requires platforms to promote communication among its participants.
During a meeting of the advisory council, Sharaf said he focused on China's 14th Five-Year Plan and its relationship with the BRI in his speech, noting that the new plan has taken into consideration recent international challenges like COVID-19.
China has unveiled its "dual circulation" development model, where internal and external markets work to reinforce each other, with the domestic market as the mainstay. The time has come to put the model into use, Sharaf said.
The BRI is an integrated system and a platform for cooperation rather than an initiative merely for building roads and bridges, Sharaf said, adding that Arab countries have benefited from the BRI in terms of transportation, energy and construction.