“Cyprus, recognizing the importance and the scope of this initiative, has already applied to become a regional member of the Bank,” Anastasiades said.
“Cyprus welcomes any initiative that promotes cooperation, progress, peace and stability, and we express our readiness to contribute to this end,” he added.
The Bank is part of the ‘One Belt, One Road’ development strategy and focuses on supporting infrastructure construction in the Asia-Pacific region. Fifty-seven countries applied to join the AIIB as founding members.
The theme of the conference in the Chinese capital is ‘New View of the Silk Road: Action for Common Development’ and the President noted that it is a subject of general concern as it focuses on connectivity and cooperation among countries in Asia, Europe and Oceania.
“And it stresses the significant role of the economy and the way it affects our future within the prevailing regional and international environment,” he also said.
Anastasiades added that this is the first time he is visiting the People’s Republic of China in his capacity as President but his presence there acquired additional significance since he is the only Head of State from the European Union.
“I feel particularly obliged to express my deep gratitude to the Government of the People’s Republic of China for this unique opportunity to highlight the special and important role that European countries can play in the Silk Road initiative,” he said.
“Our presence in Beijing also coincides with the 66th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, for which I express my sincere congratulations and best wishes, prosperity, progress and every success,” he added.
In addition, Anastasiades pointed out that the world has come a long way since 1945, when the catastrophic Second World War came to an end. And that China which is among those who suffered greatly during that war, has succeeded in evolving into one of the world’s largest economies and become a global player.
“Today, in the midst of a weak recovery of the global economy, as well as complex international and regional developments, China is leading the ‘One Belt and One Road’ initiative,” he said.
“Its aim is to promote regional economic cooperation, strengthening exchanges and mutual learning between different civilizations, and promoting world peace and development,” he added.
The One Belt One Road Initiative is based on the re-inauguration of the ancient routes that connected Asia and Europe two thousand years ago.
It aims to create socio-economic development as well as conditions for better education and sustainable environment along the route.
The plan involves more than 60 countries representing a third of the world’s total economy.