By Cao Desheng (China Daily, 28 April, 2019) – More than $64 billion in deals were signed during the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, President Xi Jinping told members of the media from home and abroad in Beijing after the three-day event concluded on Saturday.
In addition, Xi said, during the preparation and holding of the forum, parties reached 283 pragmatic outcomes, including intergovernmental cooperation agreements, cooperative projects and the launch of multilateral cooperation platforms.
The outcomes fully demonstrate that joint building of the Belt and Road conforms to the trend of the times, winning the hearts of the people, improving livelihoods and benefiting the whole world, he said.
The BRI originated in China but its opportunities and outcomes belong to the world, Xi said, adding that the second forum sends a clear message to the world: The BRI will have a brighter future as the circle of its supporters expands, as good partners increase and as the quality of cooperation improves.
Around 5,000 people from some 150 countries and about 90 international organizations attended the forum.
Participants hailed the BRI as a great initiative for economic cooperation, saying it is conducive to promoting connectivity and enhancing international cooperation in fields such as trade, investment and sustainable development.12
Calling Belt and Road construction a path to common prosperity, Xi said that early results from the BRI open up more space for global economic growth, build a platform for international cooperation and make new contributions to the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.
The forum helped countries upgrade their concepts of cooperation, defined key areas and strengthened the mechanism to seek high-quality development of the BRI, he said.
Leaders reached wide-ranging agreement on high-quality cooperation on the BRI at the leaders’ roundtable on Saturday after an in-depth exchange of views on issues such as connectivity, policy integration and sustainable development.
They supported comprehensive infrastructure connectivity as a way to foster economic growth and to build high-quality, reliable, resilient and sustainable infrastructure, according to a joint communique issued after the roundtable.
All parties involved supported strengthening synergies in development policies using the principle of extensive consultations, joint contributions for shared benefits and building even closer partnerships, the joint communique said.
The leaders also upheld green and sustainable growth and agreed to enhance cooperation in areas such as environmental protection, circular economy and clean energy, according to the communique.
They maintained that Belt and Road construction will make positive contributions in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the United Nations.
The leaders also pledged to pursue trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, reject protectionism and unilateralism and uphold the rule-based multilateral system with the World Trade Organization at the center, according to the communique.
Xi told reporters that the consensus reached by the leaders has set the right course for the development of the BRI.
Our shared goal is that we work together to make the interconnectivity among various countries more efficient, foster more robust economic growth, develop even closer international cooperation and enable people to live a better life, he said.
Xi also said BRI cooperation projects will be market-based. To ensure sustainable development, the leaders agreed to promote a level playing field for business communities and create a nondiscriminatory business environment, he said.
Those involved in the BRI will strengthen synergy in development plans and initiatives of various countries and international organizations and intensify bilateral and the third-party market cooperation to help more countries raise their level of connectivity, Xi said.
He added that participants agreed that Belt and Road forums are an important platform for multilateral cooperation and should be held on a regular basis.