During the Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Central Asia and Southeast Asia in 2013, he proposed a new initiative called “New Economic Belt of the Silk Road” and the “21st Century Maritime Silk Road” – now referred to as the One-Belt One-Road economic development strategy. These initiatives called for the integration of the Asian region into a cohesive economic area. The ultimate goal of this initiative is connectivity through infrastructure development. The ancient Silk Road spanned East Asia, South Asia, West Asia, Southeast Asia, Middle East and Europe. The One-Belt One-Road initiative covers 65 countries, 41.3% of the world’s total area and 60% of the world’s population (4.4 billion). It covers developing areas with GDP per capita exceeding US$10,000 (RM40,238) and will provide a conduit to share prosperity in the dynamic world of today.
The One-Belt One-Road regional economic expansion will shower abundant trade opportunities and development on Malaysia’s ports, railways and airports. Melaka Gateway has been earmarked as a key port of call along this route.