Top Belt, Road collaborators ranked

Russia, Kazakhstan lead list of 64 based on index of countries' performance in five key sectors

Russia and Kazakhstan rank first and second on a list of 64 countries and regions cooperating with China in its Belt and Road Initiative, according to a report released on Friday.

The Belt and Road Initiative Big Data Report 2016 analyzed five aspects of cooperation between China and the 64 countries - policy communication, connectivity, trade, finance and public support - and assigned an index number based on the comprehensive findings.

Russia and Kazakhstan are regarded as "highly" cooperative with China. Thailand, Pakistan and Indonesia occupy the third, fourth and fifth slots.

The report was written by the Belt and Road Initiative Big Data Center at the State Information Center. Based on more than 300 billion pieces of information collected by major statistical organizations and internet channels in all 64 countries and regions, the report makes a comprehensive assessment of the initiative's development.

"The report provides a new vision and a new angle to demonstrate development of the Belt and Road Initiative to the public," said Tian Jinchen, director of the Department of Western Region Development of the National Development and Reform Commission.

But China's cooperation with 32 countries, or half the overall number, "needs to be enhanced," according to the report.

It said there's huge space for deepening cooperation between China and countries along the route in the next stage.

Domestically, Guangdong, Zhejiang, Shanghai, Tianjin and Fujian are top five provinces and municipalities regarded as "highly participating" in the initiative among 31 nationwide.

The participation degree in eastern coastal areas is notably higher than in northwestern and southeastern regions, the report said.

It found that foreign direct investment into countries along the initiative routes showed good momentum, with 81.7 percent of the provinces and regions' FDI higher than $1 billion, while 77.42 percent of the provinces and regions' had FDI growth greater than 20 percent.

"Instead of making a judgment, the report aims to provide a reference system for the degree of participation, to help local areas improve," said Du Ping, executive deputy director of the State Information Center.

The report said international capacity cooperation between China and places along the initiative routes draws wide global attention, especially in five industries - automobiles, construction materials, iron and steel, railways and information technology.

"I suggest the annual report should focus more on strategic indexes, such as contribution degree of joint development," said Zhai Kun, professor at Peking University's School of International Studies.

Source: Chinadaily

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