FAO praises China’s ‘Belt and Road’ project

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

© iStock
© iStock

Related tags: Graziano da silva, United nations

China’s Belt and Road initiative can help achieve sustainable development goals provided it addresses the needs of millions of farmers and fishermen in the countries involved.

That’s according to the director-general of the Food and Agriculture Office of the United Nations, José Graziano da Silva, this weekend in Beijing at a forum on the strategy which links China with Eurasia.

The event, he said, provided a unique impetus for an international concerted effort to promote "a more balanced, equitable and inclusive development along the Belt and Road​".

"Agriculture is a crucial sector. It accounts for more than 25% of GDP, as well as for more than 40% of employment in many countries involved in the Initiative​," he told leaders from 29 participating countries.

The Belt and Road initiative, according to Graziano da Silva, opens a "great opportunity​" among all countries involved to engage in South-South Cooperation—an FAO-promoted model of development which has proven effective in creating jobs, building infrastructure and promoting trade among developing countries across the "global South​”.

China has played “a leading role in the support of FAO's South-South cooperation programme. It has benefitted over 30 countries and produced strong impacts in developing countries​," Graziano da Silva said, after President Xi Jinping pledged in his keynote speech to provide US$1bn to countries along the Belt and Road in development assistance for deprived rural areas.

Related topics: Policy, Supply chain, China, East Asia

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