(Yicai Global) May 15 -- Infrastructure for transport needs investments of around USD26 trillion to fully develop by 2030, which is why China’s One Belt, One Road initiative is critical in its mission and timing, Roberto Azevedo, director-general of the World Trade Organization, said last weekend at the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation’s Thematic Session On Promoting Trade.
As well as physical links, true interconnectivity along the Belt and Road route requires digital connections, he added. More than half of the world’s population still does not have internet access and only one-seventh of the population in underdeveloped countries can get online, Azevedo said, adding that to support such interconnectivity would require a sound regulatory environment to promote trade.
“We will continue to support the Belt and Road initiative and are also concerned about digital connectivity. The rapid growth of online trade revealed great business opportunities,” he added, saying the WTO will keep making efforts to promote interconnectivity in these areas and looks forward to working with all the nations involved.