A total of 283 items of practical outcomes were achieved during the preparatory process and the holding of the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) in Beijing, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced on Saturday at the end of the forum.
Briefing reporters on the outcomes of the three-day event, Xi said cooperation agreements worth more than 64 billion U.S. dollars were signed at a CEO conference during the forum.
The Chinese president said leaders of 38 countries as well as the United Nations and the International Monetary Fund reached extensive consensus on high-quality Belt and Road cooperation at the Leaders’ Roundtable, adding that the consensus will guide global efforts to advance cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in years to come.
Proposed by Xi in 2013, the BRI comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, and aims to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along and beyond the ancient Silk Road routes.
“I have noted on many occasions that while the BRI was launched by China, its opportunities and outcomes are shared by the world,” Xi said.
What high-quality cooperation means
A joint communique was adopted at the Leaders’ Roundtable on Saturday, calling for high-quality Belt and Road cooperation in the future.
“Such cooperation will pursue high standard, people-centered and sustainable development,” it says.
Meanwhile, it notes that Belt and Road cooperation must be “open, green and clean,” adding that “all interested countries are welcome to join in such cooperation.”
When meeting the press, Xi said this year’s forum has sent a clear message: “More and more friends and partners will join in Belt and Road cooperation, and the cooperation will enjoy higher quality and brighter prospects.”
In terms of boosting infrastructure connectivity, the leaders vowed to build “high-quality, reliable, resilient and sustainable” infrastructure.
“We emphasize that high-quality infrastructure should be viable, affordable, accessible, inclusive and broadly beneficial over its entire life-cycle, contributing to sustainable development of participating countries and the industrialization of developing countries,” the joint communique says.
The leaders underscored the need to promote projects that are “investable, bankable, economically viable and environment-friendly,” and said they welcome developed countries and international investors to invest in connectivity projects in developing countries, according to the document.
They also reaffirmed support for strengthening multilateralism to address global challenges.
Leaders: BRF should be held regularly
According to Xi, the leaders attending the forum believe that the BRF is an important platform for multilateral cooperation and expressed support for it to be held regularly.
“Belt and Road cooperation is a long-term endeavor and a common cause of all its cooperation partners,” the Chinese president told the reporters.
The first BRF was held in Beijing in May 2017. All the 279 cooperation projects agreed at the meeting have been finished, according to a BRI progress report released by China on Monday.
In his keynote speech at the opening of the second BRF on Friday, Xi made five pledges on deepening China’s reform and opening-up: the country will expand market access for foreign investment, strengthen international cooperation on intellectual property protection, increase imports of goods and services, boost international macro-economic policy coordination, and generally ensure that bilateral and multilateral deals are implemented in good faith and the rule of law is obeyed.
The measures will bring important opportunities for Belt and Road cooperation and the development of the world economy, Xi said at Saturday’s press briefing.