Silk Road is 'biggest story in town', says Brown

By MIKE HARRISON | China Daily | Updated: 2017-10-06 07:42

China's plan for the multibillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative between the East and West is the embodiment of an interconnected world, according to Gordon Brown.

Speaking at the Sustainable Silk Roads Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland, the former British prime minster set out his vision for partnerships between the East and West that can bring growth to the global economy.

"Eurasia, linked by the Silk Road-and China's new engagement with Europe and the jobs that can come from it-is the biggest story in town for the future of the world economy," Brown said.

"There is a huge opportunity for this city, country and continent to align itself with the rising economic power of Asia."

The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road is an international development and infrastructure plan first proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013. Brown said a fourth industrial revolution is underway, creating opportunity and insecurity in equal measure.

He said the majority of trade, manufacturing and production is now in the emerging parts of the world, which is why the Silk Road project is so important.

"It is a big idea, and I think we sometimes in the West don't understand how big an idea it is," said Brown. "I don't think we should underestimate the importance of the Silk Road."

The former prime minister was speaking at Edinburgh University as part of the two-day conference organized by the Confucius Institute.

Mike Harrison is a media consultant to China Daily UK.

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