Su Yuehua, a deputy to the 14th National People’s Congress. He is also president of Gansu Construction Investment (Holdings) Group Co. Ltd. (COURTESY PHOTO)
Gansu Province should bolster its weak spots to further embrace the opportunities generated by the Belt and Road Initiative, Su Yuehua, a deputy from this northwestern province of China to the 14th National People's Congress (NPC) said during its first session. The annual legislative session runs from March 5-13 this year.
The Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by China 10 years ago, aims to boost connectivity along and beyond the ancient Silk Road routes. Gansu was once a key transfer point and trading area along the ancient Silk Road. Now, the Belt and Road Initiative has brought it new development opportunities.
The development of cross-border trade requires advanced transportation and logistics. But "there is a lack of comprehensive transportation hubs in Gansu," Su, also president of Gansu Construction Investment (Holdings) Group Co. Ltd. (GCIGC), told Beijing Review. One solution he proposed would involve the construction of more inland ports as well as airports in Gansu to strengthen the province's geographical advantages and promote import and export business.
"We should also increase international freight trains connecting Central Europe, Central Asia and South Asia, which running through Gansu, take the province's products out to the world and bring back products from other countries along the Belt and Road routes," Su added. He also proposed expanding Gansu's cross-border e-commerce comprehensive pilot zones as to attract more related investment. The zones are special economic areas aimed at boosting foreign trade and cultivating new competitive edges. China established the first such zone in 2015 in Hangzhou, in the country's eastern Zhejiang Province.
As the GCIGC boasts four decades of experience in overseas operations, with 20 overseas bases, Su advised to create an industry alliance based on the group to help the province's enterprises with their international business and bring in high-quality raw materials, which would benefit both the people in Gansu and in Belt and Road countries.