China shares opportunities with world via Maritime Silk Road


HANGZHOU, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) — Zhuge Yun, a project manager with new-energy company Chint Solar, keeps a one-pound Egyptian coin, engraved with images of the sun and photovoltaic panels, in his desk drawer.

“I brought it back from Egypt,” he said, recalling his departure for that country four years ago to work on the construction of the Benban solar power plant.

The Benban solar power plant is located in the eastern part of the Sahara Desert, one of the sunniest places in the world, with little rainfall throughout the year.

Covering an area of around 37 square km, the power plant has a total installed capacity of over 2,000 megawatts. Chint Solar was responsible for the construction of a portion providing 165.5 megawatts.

“Utilizing solar power, a clean renewable energy source, to generate electricity, can alleviate the local power shortage and help improve the energy structure of Egypt,” he said, adding that the power station will run for up to 25 years, and its daily operation will provide jobs and incomes for local people.

China proposed the idea of building an “economic belt along the Silk Road” in Kazakhstan in 2013, which, combined with the proposal of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, eventually became the Belt and Road Initiative.

Ten years on, many projects like the Benban solar power plant, which are mutually beneficial and promote cooperation among BRI participating countries, have been implemented, improving the lives of the local people by bringing new development opportunities.

At the 2023 Mayors Exchange Conference on Maritime Silk Road City Influence that was held from Friday to Saturday in the city of Wenzhou, east China’s Zhejiang Province, officials and business representatives from the Maritime Silk Road cities shared their experiences and practices in jointly building the BRI.

The 187-km Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway, built under the BRI, shortens the travel time between the capital city and the international deep-water seaport city of Sihanoukville from six hours to just two, said Sar Kackada, mayor of Sihanoukville, Cambodia.

“This expressway has significantly boosted the number of tourists visiting Sihanoukville,” he said. “I hope that through the implementation of this initiative, new achievements will continue to occur in Sihanoukville.”

Tsingshan Holding Group is one of the earliest Chinese enterprises to participate in joint Belt and Road construction. The company has invested in the construction of two industrial parks in Indonesia over the past 10 years. The industrial parks have attracted an increasing number of Chinese companies in recent years.

The company is exploring more cooperation modes with countries participating in Maritime Silk Road cooperation and hopes to share its successful experience with more partners.

Official data shows that from 2013 to 2022, the cumulative value of imports and exports between China and BRI partner countries amounted to 19.1 trillion U.S. dollars, with an average annual growth rate of 6.4 percent. The cumulative two-way investment between China and BRI partner countries reached 380 billion U.S. dollars, including 240 billion U.S. dollars from China. ■

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