Legume crop expert Liu Yunmin (R) instructs a local farmer on field management of broad beans at a demonstration orchard of agricultural technical assistance, in Asmara, Eritrea, Sept. 27, 2023. (Xinhua/Han Xu)
"For Eritrea, we can think that it (the Belt and Road Initiative) will help to promote industrialization and promote diversification of the economy for the country," an expert said.
ASMARA, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- Eritrea's cooperation with China under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is crucial for promoting the country's economic industrialization and diversification, an expert has said.
Fikrejesus Amahazion, research analyst at the Eritrean Center for Strategic Studies, told Xinhua in a recent interview that the BRI has enjoyed global prominence since it was proposed in 2013.
China has signed more than 230 BRI cooperation agreements with more than 150 countries and 30 international organizations.
In November 2021, the Red Sea nation signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China to join the BRI amid the two countries' growing relations.
Children ride a bike in Asmara, Eritrea, May 9, 2023. Cycling has been incorporated into locals' life and become a major sport in Eritrea. (Xinhua/Wang Guansen)
"For Eritrea, we can think that it will help to promote industrialization and promote diversification of the economy for the country. We all know that China has achieved massive developmental progress in a short time, and that is very positive for Eritrea to join this initiative and learn from that type of experience," Amahazion said.
The Eritrean expert stressed the win-win nature of BRI cooperation and its positive outcomes.
"For China, Eritrea offers an abundance of resources and hard-working people, and there is very much untapped potential in this country," Amahazion said.
"The areas of cooperation are in agriculture, education, health and people-to-people exchanges. We have a very solid platform of cooperation, but we are looking forward to more engagement and stronger areas of cooperation now that the Belt and Road MoU has been signed between Eritrea and China about a year and a half ago," he said.
Doctor Wang Xiao (L) conducts an ultrasonic examination for a patient at Orotta Hospital in Asmara, Eritrea, on May 9, 2023. (Xinhua/Wang Guansen)
The expert expressed his hopes that cooperation with China under the BRI would further propel Eritrea's development.
"Human capacity development is one area that Eritrea is looking forward to strengthening," he said, adding that infrastructure is another primary focus for BRI cooperation with China.
The expert underscored the importance of Africa's cooperation with China.
"Across the continent, Africa continues to have a major infrastructural gap and infrastructure deficiencies," the expert said, adding that improving infrastructure would enhance trade across the continent and the rest of the world.
"Africans are very talented, and they have great potential, but sometimes they lack some of the opportunities or the areas to develop their skills and, I think, with China's promotion or encouragement of this area, it will be another great area for Africa to move forward," he said.
"There is a reason that so many African countries willingly engage with China. This is because the relationship and the cooperation are based upon a platform of respect and mutual cooperation," Amahazion said. ■