UNDP Heads for Asia-Pacific and Afghanistan Discuss Belt and Road Initiative on CGTNMay 3, 2017
In the fall of 2013, China introduced the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to connect countries in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe to promote more effective economic cooperation, which could benefit nearly four billion people in emerging economies in these regions.
Since then, more and more countries have joined the BRI platform. Afghanistan joined the initiative in May 2016, providing a bridge between Central Asia and South Asia, and between China and the Middle East. Afghanistan’s geographic location is critical to building transport corridors that will boost connectivity, infrastructure development, trade and investment, financial cooperation, and contact between cultures.
In September 2016, the first BRI cargo train from China arrived in Afghanistan, and in July last year, direct flights between Kabul and Urumqi resumed. Also in September last year, UNDP became the first international organization to sign an agreement with China on BRI cooperation. UNDP specializes in providing technical expertise for poverty reduction, governance, rule of law and environment. It has trained officials, organized exchanges of expertise and designed systems and processes to promote sustainable development.
Last week, Haoliang Xu, UNDP Director for Asia-Pacific, and Douglas Keh, UNDP Afghanistan Country Director, spoke with the Chinese Global TV Network (CGTN) about how UNDP can facilitate the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative and create synergies for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in Afghanistan and the region.
You can watch the full interview here.