This year’s edition of the Belt and Road Forum (BRF) for International Cooperation will host over 4,000 delegates from 140 countries participating in the event in Beijing, China.
The forum will be opened on Wednesday, October 18, by Chinese President Xi Jinping to mark the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), aimed at building a global trend of community with a shared future for humanity.
It will bring together over 30 international organisations, including state leaders, heads of international organisations, ministerial officials, and representatives of the business sector, academia, and non-governmental organisations.
The forum is on the theme “High-quality Belt and Road Cooperation: Together for Common Development and Prosperity”.
Ghanaian representatives will participate in the forum.
Mr Wang Antao, the Deputy Director-General, International Cooperation, Department of the Ministry of Natural Resources in China, addressing a press conference ahead of the forum, said the event would promote an effective partnership between China and its partners to advance sustainable development.
That, he stated, was critical because the world needed to survive, develop, and recover from the economic challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The event, he said, would witness three high-level forums held simultaneously for in-depth discussions on connectivity, green development, and the digital economy.
Also, six thematic forums will be conducted in parallel under the topics of trade connectivity, people-to-people bonds, think tank exchanges, clean silk roads, subnational cooperation, and maritime cooperation.
Mr Antao announced that there would be a Chief Executive Officers’ Conference, during which Chinese and foreign businesses would negotiate and sign a series of cooperation projects.
The BRF is expected to produce substantial outcomes, both in the form of cooperation documents, initiatives, funds, and measures.
Mr Antao said China had worked with African countries to establish the China-Africa Cooperation Forum to address environmental, social, and economic challenges to ensure long-term development and prosperity.
He pledged to deepen cooperation, especially in the field of integrated marine development and the transfer of technology for sustainable growth.
Mr Li Shuangjian, the Deputy Director-General, National Marine Data and Information Service, China, underscored the importance of partnership, saying “promoting common development can be realised through cooperation.”
China, he stressed, had demonstrated commitment towards the effective protection and conservation of the ecosystem through its comprehensive laws.
That, he said, was in line with Sustainable Development Goal 14, pledging to work with its partners to ensure the protection of the environment.
Mr Pan Xinchun, the Vice President and Secretary-General of the China Oceanic Development Foundation, said the Foundation had signed cooperation documents with stakeholders to address environmental challenges globally.
He said China had built the capacities of its partners through training and scholarships, of which 16 African professionals would receive PhDs in Science and Ocean Development to build a resilient coastal system for the BRF.
The BRI in the past decade achieved tangible and fruitful outcomes where more than 3,000 cooperation projects were agreed on and up to one trillion dollars of investment mobilised.
Some of the projects include the China-Europe Railway Express, the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor, and the Silk Road in the Air, which are expanding in capacity and speed.
According to the World Bank, by 2030, BRI transport infrastructure, if fully implemented, will increase global real income by 0.7 percent to 2.9 percent, lifting 7.6 million people from extreme poverty and 32 million people from moderate poverty.