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Former British Prime Minister Brown: ‘Don’t Underestimate Importance of the New Silk Road’

Oct. 6, 2017 (EIRNS)—Speaking to business leaders and scholars at the Silk Roads Conference in Edinburgh on Oct. 4, former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown described China’s Belt and Road trade initiative as "the biggest story in town for the global economy, and a huge opportunity for both the United Kingdom and Europe," Xinhua reported on Oct. 4.

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

Pointing out that the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative is a big idea that the West has yet to grasp, Brown added, "I don’t think we should underestimate the importance of the Silk Road." He also noted that China’s project was important because of a "fundamental seismic change," whereby by the majority of the world’s trade, investment and production had shifted from Europe and Northern America to emerging economies during the past decade.

"I believe that although China will be very strong in defending its regional position, China wants to see cooperation between the big powers of the world so that we can engage each of us in the business of creating greater trade and greater prosperity,"

Brown concluded.

Global Times reported that a similar view was earlier conveyed by former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, who wrote in Xinhua last month that the Belt and Road Initiative offers a "lasting alternative to the risk of slowdown, isolation and confrontation" in the world.

"De Villepin said that to promote the project, he and other former European and Asian prime ministers and foreign ministers had created a group called the International Marco Polo Society in tribute to the most famous bridge-builders of the Middle Ages,"

Global Times reported.