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The Third Belt and Road Forum: Charting the future of global cooperation

Metro Matters
Manzar Naqvi

On Wednesday, October 18, 2023, the Third Belt and Road Forum in Beijing entered its second day of proceedings. Earlier in a joint interview with Xinhua News Agency and China Media Group, Executive Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Ma Zhaoxu provided valuable insights into the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF). The interview encompassed discussions on event preparations, its profound significance, and the substantial contributions made by the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to global economic development over the past decade.
Preparations for the Third Belt and Road Forum: The Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation is a cornerstone diplomatic event for China this year. It marks the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative and is set to be attended by President Xi Jinping. The forum is themed “High-quality Belt and Road Cooperation: Together for Common Development and Prosperity.”
Key Highlights and Expected Deliverables: High-Level Forums: The BRF will host three high-level forums concurrently, focusing on connectivity, green development, and the digital economy. Additionally, six thematic forums will delve into topics like trade connectivity, people-to-people bonds, think tank exchanges, clean Silk Road, subnational cooperation, and maritime cooperation.
CEO Conference: A dedicated conference for CEOs will provide a platform for Chinese and foreign businesses to negotiate and sign cooperation projects.
Chair’s Statement: A statement capturing the consensus reached during the forum will outline the future direction and key areas of high-quality Belt and Road cooperation.
Deliverables and Initiatives: Lists of Multilateral Cooperation Deliverables and Practical Projects will be released, showcasing outcomes achieved in the high-level and thematic forums.
Global Participation: Over 140 countries and more than 30 international organizations, including state leaders, ministers, and representatives from various sectors, are attending who already confirmed their attendance, with over 4,000 delegates registered.
Expected Outcomes: The Third BRF is anticipated to yield substantial outcomes in the form of cooperation agreements, initiatives, and mechanisms, as well as projects, funds, and measures. These results are poised to surpass those of the previous two forums.
Promoting Global Growth, Common Development, and Global Economic Governance: The Belt and Road Initiative, introduced by President Xi Jinping a decade ago, has made a profound global impact and evolved into a widely embraced international public good and cooperation platform. Its role in promoting global growth, common development, and global economic governance is undeniable.
Boosting Global Growth: The BRI has led to the agreement on more than 3,000 cooperation projects, mobilizing approximately one trillion dollars of investment. Initiatives like the China-Europe Railway Express and the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor have enhanced connectivity and facilitated trade and investment.
Supporting Common Development: Belt and Road cooperation has aided participating countries in achieving economic development goals, eradicating poverty, and implementing sustainable development objectives. Chinese companies have created job opportunities and implemented various livelihood programs, making a positive impact on economic and social development.
Enhancing Global Governance: The BRI promotes a philosophy of global governance based on consultation, shared contributions, dialogue, integration, and inclusiveness. It seeks to make global governance more equitable and just.
Charting the Future of Belt and Road Cooperation: The past decade has established a solid foundation for Belt and Road cooperation. The Third BRF represents a fresh starting point to build consensus, learn from experience, and set a course for the future. Key objectives include:
Extensive Consultation: Upholding the principle of extensive consultation and shared benefit.
Sustainability: Ensuring cooperation is open, green, clean, high-standard, sustainable, and people-centered.
Global Integration: Expanding high-quality Belt and Road cooperation on a broader scale and at greater depths to achieve common development and prosperity.
The Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation is poised to be a historic event, demonstrating the commitment of China and its partners to advancing global cooperation and development. As the BRI enters a new phase, it continues to play a pivotal role in promoting global growth, common development, and equitable global governance.