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‘Belt and Road’ helps boost ASEAN infrastructure development

Updated: Nov 17,2015 4:43 PM     Xinhua

HO CHI MINH CITY — China’s “Belt and Road” initiative will lead to the formation of interconnected infrastructure networks in Southeast Asia and south China, helping boost relevant countries’ economies as well as narrow their development gaps, according to Vietnamese experts.

“The establishment of Southeast Asian infrastructure networks being connected with China’s Guangxi and Yunnan will help speed up the development of many ASEAN members, including Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand,” Truong Minh Huy Vu, Director of the Ho Chi Minh City-based Center for International Studies, told Xinhua on Nov 16.

When infrastructure networks become more interconnected, running from the Chinese city of Kunming through Laos to the Thai capital of Bangkok, and when the Southeast Asian market is closely linked with South Asian market via Myanmar, they will facilitate the movement of goods among some ASEAN countries such as Thailand, Laos and Cambodia, Vu said.

He said that better interconnected roads, rails and seaports will give ports in Thailand great advantage, noting that large volumes of goods from Laos and Cambodia are being exported through Thai ports.

Vu said that China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” in ASEAN member countries with land border to China would create a geoeconomic trend which is centripetal to China.