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West shouldn't underestimate importance of OBOR cooperation: British former PM

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Photo taken on May 22, 2017 shows the first freight train of China Railway Express departing from the city of Shenzhen to European countries at Yantian Port in Shenzhen, south China's Guangdong Province.

EDINBURGH, Britain  -- China and Eurasia's engagement with Europe is the "biggest story in town" for the global economy, said British former prime minister Gordon Brown Wednesday on the Sustainable Silk Roads Conference held in Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland.

Organised by the University of Edinburgh's Confucius Institute, the two-day conference on Oct. 4-5 will seek to shed light on China's One Belt and One Road Initiative (OBOR) and the opportunities it offers to Scotland.

Brown referred to the economic crisis of 2008 and the profound change in the world economy. Before 2008, the majority of trade, manufacturing and investment was in Western nations, America and Europe.

He said that had started to change because of China, and now the majority of trade, manufacturing and production is in the emerging parts of the world, a fundamental seismic change. That 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."

The former British prime minister highly praised the achievements of China in development. Now this is a time of the re-emergence of China as an important global economic power. "No other country in the world has ever enjoyed 30 years of consistently high economic growth in the way that China has."

"I don't think anyone should underestimate the economic and social achievements of China over these years."

"This is the background of the Silk Road Project," he added, noting "I don't think we should underestimate the importance of the Silk Road."

He believed the world will need reformed global institutions, from an updated World Bank and IMF to an expanded G20, to cope with the rise of China and Asia.

Brown said the cooperation between the West and China may be needed to halt the regional crisis and prevent future financial crisis.

What was needed was an inter-connected world, he said, adding the Silk Road Project was the embodiment of an inter-connected world.

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Muslim Global: West shouldn't underestimate importance of OBOR cooperation: British former PM
West shouldn't underestimate importance of OBOR cooperation: British former PM
China and Eurasia's engagement with Europe is the "biggest story in town" for the global economy, said British former prime minister Gordon Brown Wednesday on the Sustainable Silk Roads Conference held in Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland.
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