BEIJING – With the recent launch of operation of Kenya’s Mombasa-Nairobi railway, China’s remarkable infrastructure capabilities are again highlighted in promoting regional interconnectivity to pave way for global economic growth.
Ronnie Lins, CEO of Center China Brazil: Research & Business, commended China’s infrastructure capabilities as leading the world.
“China’s infrastructure capabilities take a lead worldwide, effectively pushing forward its economic and social development,” he said.
The Chinese-built 472-km-long Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) linking Kenya’s capital Nairobi and East Africa’s biggest port city Mombasa comes as part of ambitious efforts to build a 2,700-km East Africa corridor connecting Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan and other East African countries.
Poor infrastructure has been blamed in part for impeding Africa’s capital inflow and economic development. The railway joins other Chinese-built ones in promoting interconnectivity in Africa, including the continent’s first transnational electrified railway linking Ethiopia with Djibouti completed in October 2016, which cut traffic time from one week to 10 hours.
By the end of 2016, the Mombasa-Nairobi railway construction had created 42,000 jobs locally. It is expected to become both a regional artery of communication and a link to the adjacent industrial parks and special economic zones, putting Kenya on a faster track of industrialization and economic growth.
Experts believe that improved interconnectivity will become a fresh economic driving force amid uncertainties over global economic recovery and serious structural problems.
In Asia, Africa and Latin America, Chinese-built railways are extending further and further to boost construction of infrastructure and trade networks intended by the China-proposed Road and Belt Initiative in seeking common development and prosperity.
Like building blocks of a global picture of interconnectivity, such infrastructure projects, many of them under the framework of the Road and Belt Initiative, are meanwhile boosting mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation and partnerships.
Former Argentine Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra called the initiative a crucial multilateral integration project that “goes beyond the traditional Silk Road to reach Latin America.” For Latin America, increasing infrastructure cooperation with China will help promote regional integration, she added.
Latin American countries have shown a growing interest in the initiative, with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank that serves partly to support projects seeing its Latin American members increase recently to six.
Guo Shengxiang, dean of the Academy of APEC Creative Finance, an Australian think tank, sees that China’s infrastructure capabilities are still in an upturn.
“China’s infrastructure capabilities will continuously benefit world economy,” he added.