World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


UN to advance Belt and Road Initiative in Asia-Pacific

23 May 2017
Press Release No: G/23/2017

UN to advance Belt and Road Initiative in Asia-Pacific through regional cooperation

Bangkok (ESCAP News) -- The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) this week re-affirmed its commitment to support China’s Belt and Road Initiative through its multi-sectoral work in regional economic cooperation and integration.

“The Belt and Road Initiative represents a long-term transcontinental plan for enhanced global connectivity and integration. It has the potential to further position the Asia-Pacific region as an epicentre of growth, trade, innovation and low carbon development,” said United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP Dr. Shamshad Akhtar.

“ESCAP can facilitate the regional cooperation and coordination needed to help take the Belt and Road Initiative forward. Our framework agreements in the fields of transport, ICT and trade provide solid foundations on which to build. These agreements have the potential to be amended and extended to help deliver investment and sustain the Belt and Road Initiative’s momentum.”

Dr. Akhtar highlighted that the Belt and Road Initiative is an integral part of Asia-Pacific’s regional economic cooperation and integration programme and that both endeavors offer potential to reinforce each other, building on negotiated transboundary infrastructure networks. “The Belt and Road Initiative can benefit from ESCAP's policy and normative frameworks and standards based on multilateral principles, and utilize the Asian Highway, the ICT Superhighway and other transboundary infrastructure,” she added.

Under its partnership with China to assist the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative, ESCAP has analyzed the macroeconomic, environmental and social impact of the initiative’s six priority economic corridors. The research shows that it will generate substantial benefits for China and partner countries, with annual welfare gains of $86 to $372 billion.

However, the costs and benefits vary across corridors depending on geography, development levels, productive capacities and traffic flows.

ESCAP recommends that ‘hard’ infrastructure must also be accompanied by ‘soft’ infrastructure, such as agreements, technical standards and operational rules, in order to create seamless economic corridors. A 30 per cent decline in cross-border transaction costs and import tariffs would generate 1.8 per cent GDP growth for China and from 5.3 to 16.9 per cent growth for the countries linked by the Belt and Road Initiative.

ESCAP’s research shows that aligning the Belt and Road Initiative with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development can facilitate delivery of transboundary Sustainable Development Goals and lay the foundations for equitable, inclusive and low carbon development. The research also shows that an integrated cross-sectoral approach the infrastructure development can lead to strong efficiency gains and costs savings through use of shared rights of way, and other complementarities.

For more information download ESCAP’s latest report:

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Pacific: Tongan PM 'Akilisi Pohiva Dies, Aged 78

A constant thorn in the side of the monarchy and nobility, Mr Pohiva's lifelong battle for representation had seen him fired from the public service and charged with sedition... More>>


Untied Kingdom: UK PM Moves To Suspend Parliament In Weeks Before Brexit

The Prime Minister has briefed Cabinet colleagues that the government will bring forward an ambitious new legislative programme for MPs’ approval, and that the current parliamentary session will be brought to an end. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Hong Kong Protest Movement

The pro-democracy protests enjoy huge support among Hong Kong’s youth, partly because the democratic systems currently at risk have only a limited time span. More>>


Pacific Island Forum: Australia v Everyone Else On Climate Action

Traditionally, communiques capture the consensus reached at the meeting. In this case, the division on display between Australia and the Pacific meant the only commitment is to commission yet another report into what action needs to be taken. More>>


For NZ, It Was May 6: Earth Overshoot Day 2019 Is The Earliest Ever

Humanity is currently using nature 1.75 times faster than our planet’s ecosystems can regenerate. This is akin to using 1.75 Earths... More>>