The Belt and Road Initiative Progress, Contributions and Prospects
22 Apr., 2019  |  Source: Belt and Road Portal  |  Hits:9924
China will enhance mutual benefits in economic and trade cooperation, and expand bilateral and multilateral investment and trade. China will promote deeper industrial cooperation and work for the success of economic, trade and industrial cooperation zones. We will seize the opportunities created by the new industrial revolution to cultivate new driving forces and new business models to maintain the vitality of the economy. During the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, China will sign a number of key projects on industrial and investment cooperation with other B&R countries. China will establish a stable and sustainable financial service system that keeps risks under control, and create new models of investment and financing. China will also encourage closer cooperation between government and private capital, build a diverse financing system and a multi-tiered capital market, develop inclusive finance, and improve financial service networks.

3. A road of opening up

Opening up brings progress while isolation results in backwardness. For a country to open itself to the outside world, it is like a silk moth breaking free from its cocoon. There will be short-term pains, but one gets a new life afterwards. The Belt and Road Initiative calls for opening up, which in turn will enable us to achieve both economic growth and balanced development.

In pursing the Belt and Road Initiative, we should seek inclusive development that is beneficial to all, build an open platform of cooperation, and foster an open world economy. The Belt and Road is an initiative for peaceful development and economic cooperation, rather than a geopolitical or military alliance; it is a process of open, inclusive and common development, rather than an exclusionary bloc or a "China club". It neither differentiates countries by ideology, nor plays the zero-sum game. Regardless of its political system, geographical environment, development stage, and cultural background, any country is welcome to join the circle of friends in the Belt and Road Initiative, following the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits to achieve win-win cooperation. China upholds and strengthens the multilateral trade system which is rule-based, open, transparent, inclusive and non-discriminative. China promotes liberalization and facilitation of trade and investment by building high-standard free trade areas jointly with other B&R countries, to advance the sound development of economic globalization. In addition, Belt and Road cooperation also addresses issues such as imbalances in development, difficulties in governance, the digital divide, and income disparity, to provide equal development opportunities to all countries in the world and share the fruits of development with all peoples. Through the Belt and Road, China will keep opening its door wider. China is willing to bring new opportunities for common development to all countries, help other countries develop an open economy suited to their own actual conditions, and join our efforts in building a global community of shared future.

4. A road of green development

The Belt and Road Initiative pursues the vision of green development and a way of life and work that is green, low-carbon, circular and sustainable. The initiative is committed to strengthening cooperation on environmental protection and defusing environmental risks. It aims to build consensus on green development and increase mutual understanding and mutual support between governments, between enterprises and between peoples of the Belt and Road countries, to fulfill the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

B&R countries should pursue eco-friendly development, integrate ecological conservation and green development into economic and trade cooperation, and form a green development model in which environmental protection and economic and trade cooperation complement each other. We should explore a path of sound development that ensures growth, better lives, and a good environment. We should carry out cooperation in energy conservation and emissions reduction, and jointly respond to climate change. We should formulate and put in place supporting policies for environmental protection cooperation, and enhance efforts to protect and restore our ecosystems. We should explore and develop green finance, incorporating environmental protection and ecological conservation into our modern financial system.

China is willing to cooperate on environmental protection with other B&R countries. China will sign cooperation agreements with more countries on building green Belt and Road, expand the International Coalition for Green Development on the Belt and Road, and establish a Coalition of Sustainable Cities on the Belt and Road. China will build a group of international green industrial cooperation platforms, including model bases for green industrial cooperation, bases for green technology transfer and exchanges, technology demonstration and popularization bases, and science and technology parks. China will build a platform of green supply chains for the Belt and Road Initiative. China will also promote cooperation and exchanges with other B&R countries on the construction of national parks, to protect our shared homeland.

5. A road of innovation

Innovation is an important force powering development. In pursuing the Belt and Road Initiative, we need to encourage innovation. Over the past five years or so, China and other B&R countries have been improving the environment for innovation, pooling resources for innovation, and strengthening cooperation in science and technology innovation. We will continue to spur the full integration of science and technology with industries and finance.

Since the turn of the century, global technology innovation has intensified and become more active. Another round of the technology revolution and industrial reform is restructuring the global innovation landscape and reshaping the global economy. Belt and Road cooperation has provided new opportunities for countries in the primary and middle stages of industrialization to merge properly into global industrial chains and value chains. As various factors and resources for development are shared, flowing and regrouping among B&R countries, each country can leverage their comparative strengths, focusing on studies in cutting-edge technology application and on the research, development and application of high-tech products, to push forward innovation-driven development. The Belt and Road Initiative will become a new platform for the innovation-driven development of participating countries, a driving force for their leapfrog development, and a new engine propelling global economic growth. Through coordinated development and joint response to challenges, the Belt and Road Initiative has enabled different countries and different groups of people to share the fruits of economic globalization during the development of an open world economy, and the momentum will continue.

The digital economy is a major economic transformation, a successor to the agricultural economy and the industrial economy. The world is experiencing a revolution in technology and industrial reform on a larger scale and at a deeper level. As modern information technology makes continuous breakthroughs and the digital economy thrives, all countries have seen their interests more closely connected. All parties involved in the Belt and Road Initiative should pursue innovation-driven development, intensify cooperation in frontier areas such as artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and quantum computing, and promote big data, cloud computing and smart cities, so as to turn them into a digital Silk Road of the 21st century. China has formed a multi-level and diverse mechanism for technological and people-to-people exchanges, by offering short-term research visits to China for young scientists and offering training programs for science and management personnel from other B&R countries. Through building national level platforms for joint scientific research, China has enhanced stable and long-term cooperation mechanisms for technology innovation, to improve the capacity for technology innovation of B&R countries. We need to build a Belt and Road coordination network for technology transfer, to facilitate integrated innovation at regional level. Intellectual property is essential to innovation-driven development. B&R countries should respect intellectual property rights, effectively protect and utilize intellectual property, and build a sophisticated intellectual property protection system.

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