China's Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan (C), Vice Minister of Commerce and Deputy China International Trade Representative Wang Shouwen (2nd R) and Vice Minister of Commerce Qian Keming (2nd L) attend a press conference on China's domestic market and all-round opening-up for the second session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) in Beijing, capital of China, March 9, 2019. (Xinhua/Shen Bohan)
Developing countries are in need of investment, and in the past five years through Belt and Road Initiative, China has helped many developing economies in infrastructure construction and production capacity cooperation, said Qian Keming, vice-minister of commerce.
The Belt and Road Initiative does not increase the debt pressure of countries involved, and as a matter of fact it helps the related economies get more investment they need, Qian said.
For one thing, statistics showed that increased debt in some countries is a result of long-term debt accumulation, he said, citing example of Pakistan.
The country has recently been in news for its debt problems, yet as high as 42 percent of Pakistan's foreign debts are borrowed from multilateral institutions, and Chinese debt accounts for only about 10 percent of the total, Qian said, adding that many other countries have similar debt situation.
The construction of infrastructure in the world, especially in developing countries, requires large sum of money. Reports from the Asian Development Bank and the African Development Bank showed that only half of the annual infrastructure investment need in Asia (estimated to be about $1.7 trillion annually by 2030), and one third of that in Africa (estimated to be about $130 billion to 170 billion annually), are met, which shows developing countries need a lot of investment to promote economic development, according to Qian.
In the past five years or more, China has promoted the construction of a large number of ports, airports, highways, railways and other infrastructures in developing countries under the Belt and Road Initiative, and has carried out a large number of capacity cooperation, which has promoted local economic development in related areas, and has brought tangible benefits to their people, Qian said.
Besides, he said, it is not necessary for third parties to worry about the borrowing and lending, because only those who need money are willing to borrow, while creditors are willing to lend only when their relationship with borrowers is good, and the money will be rather safe.