2nd Belt and Road Forum kicks off in Beijing today

Md Enamul Hassan, from Beijing

25 April, 2019 12:00 AM printer

The Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation begins in Beijing of China today.

The formal opening ceremony of the forum will, however, be held at Yan Qi Hu Convention Center in the Chinese capital tomorrow morning.

Chinese President Xi Jinping will deliver a keynote speech at the ceremony. With the theme of “Belt and Road Cooperation, Shaping a Brighter Shared Future,” the three-day second BRF will conclude on Saturday.

The forum will witness several side events, including 12 sub-forums focusing on practical cooperation and a conference for the business community from across the world.

A joint communique will be released after the leaders’ roundtable.

A total of 37 heads of state or government and other leaders from Austria, Egypt, Italy and Laos will attend the forum.

France, Germany, the UK, Spain, Japan, South Korea and the EU will send high-level representatives to the forum.

The UN secretary-general and the managing director of the International Monetary Fund will be attending the forum.

Some 5,000 participants from more than 150 countries and 90 international organisations have confirmed their attendance in the event.

The BRF is the highest level platform for international cooperation under the Belt and Road framework and is the most important event China this year.

A total of 126 countries and 29 international organisations have signed cooperation agreements with China to jointly build the Belt and Road.

The total trade volume between China and the participating countries has surpassed $6 trillion, investment has exceeded $80 billion.

Under the BRI cooperation, some 82 cooperation parks built by China and relevant countries have created nearly 300,000 jobs, bringing enormous development opportunities for the participating countries.

China’s Belt and Road Initiative was proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013.

The initiative has five cooperation priorities — policy coordination, facilities connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration and people-to-people bond.

Under the priorities, a batch of projects such as transportation construction and industrial infrastructure are in full swing or already having yielded fruitful results around the world.