China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) offers massive opportunities for China-Britain cooperation in areas like business, climate change, personnel exchanges, education and tourism, experts said here during a three-day conference concluded on Friday.
The Interdisciplinary Conference on the BRI, bringing together academic experts, practitioners and business leaders, opened in British Lancaster University on Wednesday, during which attendees discussed and studied the impacts of the BRI from different perspectives.
"I think one of the wonderful things about the BRI is the focus on people-to-people exchanges, supporting education and tourism ... These things are very important if we're going to be able to get on as a global community," Ollie Shiell, chief executive of UK National Committee on China, told Xinhua.
"It's very clear to me that the UK and China agree about more things than they disagree," Shiell said, adding "What we should be doing is focusing on those areas of cooperation, on climate change for example."
David Percival, chair of Manchester-China Forum, said he believes that the BRI's green commitment can help countries to deal with global issues.
"I'm very positive about the greening of the BRI, and I'm very positive about building a good understanding of BRI in the UK, so we can figure out how to work with China on key issues like climate change," Percival told Xinhua on the sidelines of the conference.
"There are complementary opportunities between the UK and China," he said, adding that Chinese enterprises can play an important role in British local economy, through developing crucial infrastructure projects and creating many job opportunities.
"Don't think the BRI is something a long way from the UK. It's not. The engagement and understanding of China and China initiatives works very well for us," said Percival in a speech on Wednesday.
He predicted, "the greening of the BRI ... is going to be a massive business opportunity."
At the opening ceremony of the interdisciplinary conference, Zheng Xiyuan, China's consul general in Manchester, abbreviated the BRI new features to an acronym "GIVE", which stands for "green," "innovation," "visibility" and "education."
Professor Zeng Jinghan, head of the Lancaster University Belt and Road Initiative Research Consortium (LUBRIC), told Xinhua that "there is a broad consensus among British academics, industry leaders that the UK needs to understand more about the BRI, which will have a huge impact on the future of the world."
"The BRI has significant political, social, legal and environmental implications," noted Zeng. "People in the British financial sector are very interested in the BRI, because they think it brings a lot of business opportunities."