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BEIJING: 2ND BELT & ROAD FORUM FOR INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

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(By Theodora Amedetor)

The much anticipated Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperations has been held in Beijing, China. It was attended by leaders, from 38 countries, as well as the United Nations and the International Monetary Fund, IMF, who reached extensive consensus, that will guide global efforts to advance high-quality cooperation, under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), in years to come.

The forum, presided over by Chinese President, Xi Jinping, provided China and partners, around the world, especially Africa, the opportunity to discuss development cooperations and people-people communication for a better future.

The three day forum saw over 5000 participants, including world leaders, ministers of states, like Ghana’s Trade and Industry Minister, Mr, Alan Kyeremanten, as well as the business community and journalists. Participants took part in some 12 sub-forums, focusing on practical cooperation, Leaders’ Roundtable and CEO conference, which specifically focused on the business community.

Chairing the Leaders’ Roundtable, Chinese President, Xi Jinping noted that the BRI, in the past two years, has made significant progress. However, to injected new impetus into global economic growth and open up new space for global development, it is necessary to integrate the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development into the construction of BRI. This, President Xi emphasized will make the Initiative open, green, clean and ensure high-standard, improved livelihood and sustain development.

A joint communiqué was then adopted, at the Leaders’ Roundtable, with the leaders vowing to build “high-quality, reliable, resilient and sustainable” infrastructure, and Belt and Road cooperation in the future. While President Xi pledged China’s willingness to work with BRI partners, to focus on infrastructure interconnection, deepening intelligent manufacturing and cooperation in frontier areas of the digital economy.

At the CEO conference, cooperation agreements, worth more than 64 billion U.S. dollars, were signed. However, there was a call on all parties to work on implementation of result-oriented projects, build diversified financing systems and a multi-tiered capital market, and build an open world economy, as well as uphold multilateralism and oppose trade protectionism.

Chinese President, Xi Jinping, who first mooted the idea of the Belt and Road initiatives, in 2013, said the past two years has seen the BRI made all-round progress in policy, trade, financial and people-to-people connectivity.

When all is said and done, a number of 283 practical outcomes were achieved in the run up to and during the Second Belt and Road Forum. The leaders underscored the need to promote projects that are “investable, bankable, economically viable and environmentally-friendly.”  They welcomed developed countries and international investors to invest in connectivity projects, in developing countries, and reaffirmed support for strengthening multilateralism to address global challenges.

The forum was on the theme: “Belt and Road Cooperation, Shaping a Brighter Shared Future”.

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