By Amin Kef (Ranger)
The Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) marked a significant milestone in global cooperation as it celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Held from October 17 to 18 in Beijing, China, the forum bore the theme: “High-Quality Belt and Road Cooperation: Together for Common Development and Prosperity,” reflecting a commitment to fostering unity, win-win outcomes and development on a global scale.
The BRF showcased an ambitious vision for realizing global modernization, a goal shared by all nations. Over the past decade, the BRI has successfully executed more than 3,000 cooperation projects, attracting nearly USD 1 trillion in global investments, and uplifting 40 million people out of poverty. It has also accelerated the modernization efforts of many developing countries. During the forum, President Xi Jinping announced further market access expansion for digital and other products, deepened reforms in state-owned enterprises, digital economy, intellectual property and Government procurement, along with entering into free trade agreements and investment protection treaties with more countries. This aims to unlock the potential of China’s vast market for the world.
The Forum conveyed a resounding message of unity, cooperation, openness, and mutual benefit. It emphasized that humankind shares a common future, and win-win cooperation is the path to success for initiatives benefiting all. The event witnessed over 10,000 registered representatives from 151 countries and 41 international organizations, reaffirming the global appeal and influence of Belt and Road cooperation. It was a clear signal to the world that unity, cooperation, openness, and mutual gain are preferable to division, confrontation, isolation, or zero-sum thinking. Amidst profound global changes and challenges, Belt and Road cooperation stands as a stabilizing force.
Action was a defining feature of the forum, with an emphasis on tangible outcomes. President Xi Jinping outlined eight major steps to support high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, covering multidimensional connectivity, green development, scientific and technological innovation, practical cooperation, people-to-people exchanges, and institution-building. The forum yielded 458 outcomes, including crucial cooperation initiatives, institutional arrangements, and specific targets. These commitments include providing 100,000 training opportunities on green development by 2030 and establishing 100 joint laboratories. Furthermore, China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China will establish RMB 350 billion financing windows, with an additional RMB 80 billion injected into the Silk Road Fund.
This emphasis on concrete action underscores the commitment to global growth and shared development. As the world enters a new decade, China, along with the international community, including Sierra Leone, stands poised to build on this progress, summing up experiences, drawing blueprints, forging consensus, and advancing the Belt and Road’s high-quality development for the benefit of all.
The Third Belt and Road Forum has ushered in a new era of global cooperation, setting a course towards a more prosperous and interconnected world.