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拉脱维亚 和谐社会民主党议员、议会拉中友好小组主席谢尔盖·波塔普金(Sergejs Potapkins)

拉脱维亚 和谐社会民主党议员、议会拉中友好小组主席谢尔盖·波塔普金(Sergejs Potapkins)


2016-05-05 信息来源:

拉脱维亚 和谐社会民主党议员、议会拉中友好小组主席谢尔盖·波塔普金(Sergejs Potapkins)

 

在中欧政党高层论坛上的发言 

China-Europe Win-Win Cooperation under the Framework of Belt and Road Initiative

Sergejs Potapkins, Member of Latvian Parliament

SDP „CONCORD” Board Member

Beijing, May 18

 

Excellences, ladies and gentlemen, honored Political Leaders!

Let me begin with my thanks to the CPC International department for organizing this unique Forum. My gratitude to all the previous speakers that have illuminated different parts of Belt and Road Initiative.

It is rare to have an open and professional discussion on the nature of Initiative that has such potential impact on the future of its citizens and a majority of its stakeholders in one place at one time.

By announcing significant plans and allocating substantial funds for the implementation of the initiative, China has given Central and Eastern European countries hope for a bright future.

Cooperation among the 16+1 countries in various fields — most importantly improved export-import opportunities and Chinese investments in the CEE countries — has been announced. While launching the Belt and Road Initiative, China has not only offered opportunities to countries, but also has undertaken considerable responsibility.

Many countries, including the three Baltic States, have placed huge bets on the potential investments China has promised to them. And figures show there is no need to worry as Chinese investment in Europe is growing, with the share of foreign direct investment constituting 6 percent and the growth occurring in the past few years.

In Latvia, for example, half of all Chinese investment since 1992 was made in 2013 and 2014. Last year alone, China invested €16.8 billion in Europe, mostly in the countries in Old Europe. China indeed has huge funds to invest, but the recipient countries, at least for the time being, are unclear how they would be invested.

To cash in on the Belt and Road Initiative, therefore, countries wishing to cooperate with the still promising Asian market have to be more proactive. Countries do compete with each other. For instance, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia do so even in their day-to-day affairs. But none of the three has been party to any international project on the scale of the Belt and Road Initiative, which offers cooperation in various fields, including culture.

The combined population of the Baltic States is barely more than 7 million, which is just a fraction of China’s. So being part of the Belt and Road Initiative will be in the best interests of these countries. The same applies to other countries in Central and Eastern Europe, for they too have small populations compared with China’s.

Most of the CEE countries, especially the Baltic States, are largely unknown to China despite regular bilateral visits by leaders. Consequently, there is a risk that in the absence initiatives by the Baltic States, the goodwill displayed by China will go to waste. Thus it is of utmost importance, regardless of whether they cooperate or compete, that the countries seize the initiative and offer their own ideas about how to encourage cooperation and friendship between China and the states in Europe.

Hopefully, such ideas will be voiced at the 16+1 meeting of Transport Ministers in Riga these days, and the Prime Ministers Summit in Riga in November this year.

A stronger political statement could not be made for Europe needs to be bound much more closely to the other Global markets, both in terms of strengthening the global market as well as binding people closer together.

Belt and Road Initiative will link places, nations, and people.

But this links is really being built for the 15 year old teenagers today, who will be a key actors as a political or business leaders when Belt and Road global projects starts operations.

A teenager whose expectation for these infrastructure initiatives probably exceeds anything we imagine today. And in a world that will most likely be quite different from the one we have today.

Any long way begins with the first step. And we have already made a quantity of steps. But we still are in the beginning of a way. We all realize that Belt and Road Initiative is the continental project of the century.

It is the Initiative, which can significantly reduce security risks, promote sustainable development and stability growth, and economic development of involved regions. But we have to have patience; desire to carry on dialogue, and aspiration to understand each other to turn cooperation into a general victory

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