110 countries confirm participation in 3rd Belt and Road Forum: Chinese FM

ISLAMABAD: China on Tuesday confirmed the participation of representatives from over 110 countries that they will attend the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing in October, with preparations for the forum being well underway.

Events during the forum include the opening ceremony, three high-level forums on connectivity, green development and digital economy and six thematic forums: trade connectivity, people-to-people communication, think tank exchanges, clean Silk Road, subnational cooperation and maritime cooperation.

A CEO conference will also be held, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning told media on Tuesday in Beijing. Experts noted that the wide scope of participation shows that the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has become a popular global public good over the past decade.

This forum has attracted representatives from many countries. It is believed that they hope China can play a greater role in opening up new directions for international cooperation, exploring new driving forces for global economic growth, as well as building a new platform for the growth of relations between countries, Liang Haiming, dean of Hainan University Belt and Road Research Institute, told media.

During the past decade, “the BRI has contributed to multilateralism and created better development conditions for developing countries,” Liang said. “It has also provided China’s development model and experience to countries and regions involved in the BRI.”

The BRI has become a popular public good worldwide, as it has brought hope and opened a new development path for global economic development, Liang noted.

The platform has attracted the participation of more than three-quarters of countries in the world and 32 international organizations so far. Over the past decade, it has generated nearly $1 trillion in investment, established more than 3,000 cooperation projects, created 420,000 jobs, and helped lift almost 40 million people out of poverty, according to China’s Foreign Ministry.

“These countries have shown their trust in the BRI through practical actions, as well as their hope toward the prospects of jointly building the BRI,” Liang said.

The year of 2023 marks the 10th anniversary of the BRI. The forum is not only the highlight of commemorative events to mark the anniversary, but also an important platform for all partners to plan high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a press briefing on August 31.

The BRI proposed by China is neither a geopolitical alliance nor a military alliance, nor is it an “exclusive group.” Instead, it is a process of openness, inclusiveness and joint development. “It is believed that the BRI will gain more support from people around the world,” said Liang.

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