"One Belt One Road" to bring new opportunities to silk road countries

ASTANA, Kazakhstan, May 25 (Xinhua) -- China's "One Belt One Road" initiative will bring new opportunities to silk road countries and those countries should catch the opportunity to strengthen cooperation and realize common development, officials from Kazakhstan, Singapore, Estonia, Latvia and Tajikistan said during their speeches at Astana Economic Forum on Wednesday.

Astana Economic Forum opened on Wednesday in the Kazakh capital of Astana. Officials from different countries gave advises to the implementation of "One Belt One Road" initiative at the subforum of "One Belt One Road and Eurasian Economic Union (EEU)".

Kazakhstan's Vice Economic Minister Timur Zhaksylykov said, "One Belt One Road" has many meeting points with EEU. He hopes that by working together, different countries will realize economic development and promote trade among Eurasian countries. He said "One Belt One Road" initiative and EEU could cooperate in trade, elimination of tax barriers, transportation and infrastructure.

Kazakhstan expressed hope to connect the high-speed railway in China and Europe, because it will greatly increase the transport efficiency between China and Europe.

Kazakhstan's Vice Energy Minister Aset Magauov said, Kazakhstan's energy industry benefits mostly from China's economic growth. Being an important energy export market, China's significance to Kazakhstan will continue to grow. China's economic growth and its cooperation with Kazakhstan are important.

Tajikistan's Economic Development Minister Nematullo Hikmatullozoda said, "One Belt One Road" initiative brought great opportunities and new concepts. Central Asian countries should catch this opportunity and take up more responsibilities, strengthening cooperation and exploring business opportunities together. He said Central Asian countries play an irreplaceable role in building Silk Road Economic Belt and they support the spirit and proposal of Silk Road Economic Belt.

Cooperation between China and Central Asian countries will inject more momentum to Silk Road Economic Belt. He made suggests that more countries join the "One Belt One Road" initiative.

Latvia's Minister of Social Welfare Uldis Augulis said, "One Belt One Road" initiative can promote the building of Eurasian Land Bridge, which will bring great benefits to Eurasian countries. "One Belt One Road" countries must eliminate the bottleneck of Silk Road's development on the basis of common interest.

He said Silk Road countries should create a coordination mechanism to push forward multilateral cooperation. The "16+1" multilateral dialogue platform created by China and East Europe can play an important role in the development of Silk Road Economic Belt.

Singapore's Minister of State, Minister of Trade & Industry, Ministry of National Development Koh Poh Koon said, Silk Road Economic Belt will bring great opportunities to Silk Road countries, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries can play an important role in promoting "One Belt One Road" initiative.

He made suggestions that Silk Road countries eliminate trade barriers and find each one's own development strategy. He said China is an important guarantee whether "One Belt One Road" initiative will succeed, while Kazakhstan is the "button" of Silk Road Economic Belt. As the largest landlocked country, Kazakhstan is the key player that connects China, Russia and Europe.

Financial Minister of Estonia Sven Sester said building Silk Road Economic Belt will bring new business opportunity and make silk road countries become not only communication centers, but also bring them new business prospects that can stimulate economic growth.

As an EU country, Estonia can play an important role in pushing forward "One Belt One Road" initiative and trade between Europe and Asia. Estonia is dedicated to constructing railway networks, so as to smooth commodity transportation among China, Russia and north European countries.