Frank Bennett Rowder reports on the annual Belt and Silk Road conference held IIT Kent School of Law recently. Established in China in (202 BC-9AD) during the Western Hans Dynasty, it is the world’s oldest and longest trade route currently stretching from Asia to Europe.
CHINA: Hon Lei, Consul General in Chicago, stated because “complex and profound changes are taking place in the world,” the new Belt and Silk Road will not only run through the continents of Asia and Europe but include Africa .He also announced that a railway system will connect his country with Mongolia and Russia. China had invested $14.53 billion in 53 countries along the Road in 2016 and created 56 economic and trade cooperation zones in 23 relevant countries
KYRGYZSTAN: Washington Ambassador Kadyr Toktogulov reported his country has access to China, Russian and European markets. He said trade is continuing with 68 countries and that Kyrgyzstan has become more transparent since its independence, ousting two corrupt presidents.
AZERBAIJANIS: Political Officer Azad Aslanov said his country’s economic corridor will eventually stretch to Helsinki, Finland, and St.Petersburg, Russia; south to Mumbai, India . “This is being done to expand our country’s central hub and will be a big factor in creating more ports in the Caspian Sea,” he explained.
MACEDONIA: According to University of Tetovo professor Dr. Vulinet Ameti, his country has constructed new natural gas pipelines in the east, which will hookup with Turkey and ten burgeoning economic zones.
PAKISTAN: Faisal Niaz, Consul General of Pakistan in Chicago, detailed how Gwader Port in the Indian Ocean is a hub for transporting goods and plays a key role in the recent China-Pakistan corridor financed to a tune of $51 million by China.
TURKEY: Government official Mustafa Ilbeyli and Professor Ozlem Atay told conference members how their country is expanding Hydropower, Wind, Solar, Geothermal and Biomass.
Rowder is an expert on foreign affairs and serves on the Associate Board of the Central Asian Productivity Research Center. He was also a member of the Chicago Journalists Association Board of Directors and writes for World Nordic News.