BRI starting to show its economic-boosting potential

(Tan Sri) Ong Tee Keat giving a brief address to thank the BRI International Mandarin Elocution Contest organising committee members

'BRI starting to show its economic-boosting potential'

KUALA LUMPUR (March 2018): China’s trillion-dollar Belt Road Initiative (BRI) has started showing its economic-boosting power and influence.

Even before the completion of BRI’s infrastructure constructions (road, rail, port and air links), its China Railway Express reportedly delivered a total of 3,673 block trains to European countries last year, up 116% compared to the previous year.

The BRI rail express links 36 cities in 13 European countries.

“And, within two years, the travel time of the express train has been cut from 20 days to 12, while operational costs have decreased by 40%. Isn’t that amazing,” Yayasan Bakti Nusa Malaysia (YBNM) president (Tan Sri) Ong Tee Keat said.

Ong, who is the founder YBNM, a social-cultural development foundation, and also the Malaysia-China Silk Road Business Chamber president, spoke at a thanksgiving lunch for the organising committee members of the International Mandarin Elocution Contest For Youths (“Stars Of The Future on The Belt And Road”) staged in Penang Island’s Lot 33 last month.

Read these for context: (In pursuit of BRI economic goals, educational and cultural activities are also equally important) (Social development foundation and educators embark on mission to forge BRI promotion and understanding)

Ong thanked the organising committee comprising officials from Penang Chinese School Teachers Association and Kesatuan Kebangsaan Guru-Guru Besar Malaysia (Malaysia Headmasters Association) for the successful BRI-related international elocution contest.

“I do hope and pray that we can, in the not too distant future, work together again in other BRI-related programmes,” he added.

FLASHBACK: 5 (Tan Sri) Ong delivering his welcoming address at the BRI elocution contest

Speaking to I Love Malaysia-China Silk Road, Ong said although BRI was initiated by China to promote trans border business and trade, “the 69 countries that had signed with China to help develop BRI needed to also forge greater bilateral understanding among themselves”.

“There is no better way to do that than to stage international trans border educational and cultural activities aimed at raising awareness and understanding of BRI.

“Children are our future leaders. They must not be left out,” he added.