ASEAN, China Officials Discuss Enhancing Connectivity Under ‘Belt and Road Initiative’

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Saleumxay Kommasith, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Laos at the Enhancing Connectivity and Sharing Prosperity: Achievements and Prospects of Aligning BRI with MPAC 2025 forum on 27 November 2023. (Photo: PathedLao)

Officials from China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) gathered on 27 November, in Vientiane Capital to discuss enhancing connectivity under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). 

The one-day forum, hosted by the ASEAN-China Centre, was themed “Enhancing Connectivity and Sharing Prosperity: Achievements and Prospects of Aligning BRI with MPAC 2025.”

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Saleumxay Kommasith, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Laos, praised the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) for its positive impact on regional connectivity, economic and trade development, investment, personnel exchanges, and economic and social development in ASEAN countries.

He noted that Laos has benefited considerably from China-Laos collaboration, highlighting the Laos-China railway, the expressway project, and the economic corridor, Pasaxon reported.

Saleumxay further elaborated that the BRI has not only spurred regional advancement in infrastructure, connectivity, economic progress, and investment partnerships but has also accelerated the adoption of cutting-edge technologies. He emphasized its role in fostering social and cultural interactions, personnel mobility, tourism growth, and mutual understanding among nations.

Shen Yueyue, vice chairwoman of China’s top political advisory body, also commended the positive impact of BRI projects like the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway, Cambodia’s Golden Port Expressway, and the China-Laos Railway, noting their contributions to improving the lives of local residents, narrowing regional development gaps, and fostering economic integration.

Additionally, ASEAN and Chinese officials also discuss the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025 and the role of the ASEAN-China Center in promoting regional connectivity.