ㄑ Belt and Road ㄑ Opinion

Turkish scholar: Belt & Road Initiative raises new concept for multilateral cooperation

Xinhua | November 28, 2023

Aerial photo taken on April 14, 2022 shows a view of the Emba Hunutlu power plant in Sugozu village in south Turkey's Adana Province.(Photo by Wang Zequn/Xinhua)

Over the past decade, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has grown into an extensive cooperation network spanning three continents and it is raising a new concept for multilateral cooperation, a Turkish scholar has said.

"When we analyze the developments in the past decade, the BRI has turned from a project to ... building a network of cooperation not only in a small region but also in almost three continents," said Selcuk Colakoglu, director of the Ankara-based Turkish Centre for Asia-Pacific Studies.

The Turkish scholar said that a striking demonstration of the initiative's success is the active international participation in the 3rd Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing this year.

"The BRI has become a web of cooperation -- from economic cooperation to cooperation in other areas. It has become a hub of collaboration basically on three continents: Asia, Europe, and Africa," Colakoglu said.

On top of the past achievements, Colakoglu also commended the promising concept of the initiative based on win-win understanding and mutual development.

"There are further projects from infrastructure development to green growth. There are various complete projects, but the important thing is raising a new concept for multilateral cooperation," he said.

Highlighting the crucial roles of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and the Silk Road Economic Belt in fostering global development, Colakoglu perceived infrastructure and connectivity development as the primary focuses.

"In that regard, Türkiye's Middle Corridor has an intersection and has some compatibility and opportunities for cooperation between the middle corridor and the BRI. So far both Türkiye and China have a very positive stance to cooperate in that area," he said.

A Memorandum of Understanding on Aligning the Belt and Road Initiative and the Middle Corridor Initiative was signed between Türkiye and China in 2015.