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Interview: China's Belt and Road initiative gives great opportunities: MEP

Editor: zhangrui 丨Xinhua

05-05-2017 07:44 BJT

Full coverage: Belt and Road Forum for Int'l Cooperation

BRUSSELS, May 4 (Xinhua) -- The China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative is a huge project that is giving opportunities to many companies, the chair of delegation for relations with China in the European Parliament, Jo Leinen, told Xinhua in a recent interview.

The European Union (EU) and China, two of the largest economies in the world, are well connected in trade and are now going "to a new stage," aiming to better engage in investment. Their investment agreement talks are on track, Leinen said.

"European companies like to invest in China and Chinese companies come to Europe to invest," said Leinen, expressing hope that the investment deal could be concluded so that there is a "very fair, balanced and transparent framework."

For the veteran politician, the initiative is a good opportunity for investment and cooperation, and that completely new logistics and innovation in the transport sector is needed.

The German parliamentarian said "what we need is a common understanding of the projects, the financing and the condition for submission and for applying."

He also attached importance to the initiative's green movement, most notably, "how we can reduce the energy consumption, how we can reduce the environment pollution by most modern transport systems."

According to Leinen, the welcoming news is that the EU and China also have worked closely at all levels regarding technology and research, from bio-technologies to new materials.

"The world of this 21st century has to go to more efficient and less environmental damaging... Europe and China should cooperate," he added.

Meanwhile, as both China and the EU are undergoing structural reforms, Leinen, who has closely followed the development in China, applauded China's 13th five-year plan for economic and social development, saying it is "quite forward-looking, and combines important pillars and cornerstones" for the transition of the Chinese economy towards a highly modern economy.

"I think modernization and innovation, that's the way to go," he said, noting that the Belt and Road Initiative, with a big potential for investment, is likewise a chance "for innovation to test and invest in very new systems for cargo as well as for people, whether it's air transport, maritime or land transport."

Leinen said he hoped the upcoming Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing would bring all stakeholders together, adding that European companies were "very keen" to take part in the forum as it would bridge connections from China toward Europe.

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