BEIJING – Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet has expressed hope that the upcoming Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing will achieve concrete results in global connectivity.
In an interview with China’s state-run network CCTV, broadcast on Wednesday, Bachelet said she was pleased to be able to participate in the forum alongside heads of government from countries including Argentina, Spain, Russia and Italy, explaining that the project reflected Chile’s own goals.
“The Chinese president (Xi Jinping) expressed his interest in supporting the value chain development through various initiatives, including infrastructure as a mechanism, and that fully shares Chile’s development concepts for its own development and that of the whole region,” said Bachelet, referring to Latin America.
The Beijing forum on May 14-15 “gives ample opportunity to brainstorm with countries participating from various regions, and concrete projects can be identified to be addressed listening to different approaches,” she said.
Bachelet recalled that she first heard about the Belt and Road Initiative, a Beijing-proposed trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa, in 2014 when Xi was on an official visit to Latin America.
She stressed that the Beijing summit should go beyond discussing traditional infrastructure projects such as roads, railways and seaports, and includes talks on developments in the digital field.
“We always think of connectivity as connectivity by sea, air or land, and clearly, from that point of view we are far away; however, we already have a strong maritime presence and now we are quite involved in the Asia-Pacific region, we are also thinking in terms of digital connectivity,” she explained.