BISHKEK (TCA) — Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on April 18 said that Russian President Vladimir Putin, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev will attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation to be held in Beijing on May 14-15.
To date, 28 heads of state and government have confirmed their attendance at the forum.
It was also reported that Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev will attend the event.
The only western leaders to attend are Spain’s Mariano Rajoy and Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has championed the “One Belt, One Road” initiative, a vast infrastructure network across land and sea linking Asia, Africa, and Europe with billions of dollars in railways, ports, and power grids.
China has dedicated $40 billion to a Silk Road Fund and made the project the driving force behind the $50 billion Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, another Chinese initiative.
Chinese companies’ investment in countries along the Belt and Road rose in Q1 2017, Xinhua reported.
From January to March, Chinese enterprises invested 2.95 billion U.S. dollars in 43 countries along the Belt and Road, according to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.
The investment accounted for 14.4 percent of Chinese firms’ total outbound investment in Q1, compared to 9 percent for the same period last year.
Chinese enterprises signed 952 project contracts in 61 countries along the Belt and Road with a turnover of 14.4 billion dollars, nearly half of the total value of contracts in Q1, according to the ministry.
Since 2013, China has invested more than 50 billion dollars in countries involved in the Belt and Road.