SCIO press conference on white paper 'The Belt and Road Initiative: A Key Pillar of the Global Community of Shared Future'

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What are the newly focused regions for BRI going forward to increase and build projects? Secondly, what are the plans for development of BRI in the Central Asian nations specifically? How might it be different in any way? And also I'd like to ask, how does China see the competition from similar initiatives such as the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC)? And just one last add-on to that: Do you have the dates for the forum next week? Can you tell us what those might be? Thank you so much.

Guo Tingting:

In the 10 years since the introduction of the BRI, we have signed BRI cooperation agreements with more than 150 countries, including those in Central Asia, and over 30 international organizations. We have always upheld the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefit, stayed committed to achieving mutual benefits, win-win outcomes and common development, and continuously deepened economic and trade cooperation with participating countries. From 2013 to 2022, our total direct investment in participating countries exceeded $240 billion.

Moving forward, we will continue to strengthen the alignment of development strategies and market demands with BRI participating countries. Stressing enterprises' role as the main players, market orientation, government guidance and compliance with international rules, we aim to inspire the enthusiasm of all parties to actively participate in BRI cooperation, elevate the level of cooperation in areas such as trade and investment, promote poverty eradication, increase employment and improve people's livelihoods. We endeavor to ensure that the benefits of the BRI are more widely shared among the peoples of all participating countries. Thank you.

Li Kexin:

Infrastructure plays a crucial role in promoting global economic growth and advancing the well-being of people in various countries. Since President Xi Jinping introduced the BRI in 2013, Laos has converted itself from a "landlocked" to a "land-linked" nation; the Maldives has inaugurated its first cross-sea bridge; Indonesia has stepped into the high-speed rail era; and East Africa now takes pride in its first transnational electrified railway – the Addis Ababa-Djibouti Railway. All these have contributed to substantial improvements in the lives of local people.

In recent years, under the impetus of the BRI, global focus on infrastructure development has intensified. This resonates with the prevailing trends in global economic development and aligns with the immediate aspirations of numerous developing countries. China invites all parties to increase their investments in infrastructure in developing countries and promote projects that genuinely benefit the people. We are willing to cooperate with all parties on a foundation of openness, inclusivity, equality and mutual benefit, jointly advancing global connectivity, and providing the world with more high-quality international public goods.

Regarding the question about the upcoming BRI forum, China will host the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing this October. Not only will this be a most grandiose event commemorating the 10th anniversary of the BRI's inception, but it will also serve as a vital platform for all parties to discuss high-quality cooperation under the Belt and Road framework. As of now, representatives from more than 130 countries and over 30 international organizations have confirmed their participation. The activities during the forum will include an opening ceremony, three high-level forums on connectivity, green development and the digital economy, as well as six themed forums on unimpeded trade, people-to-people bonds, think-tank exchanges, Clean Silk Road, local collaboration and maritime cooperation. An entrepreneurs' conference is also on the agenda. The exact dates of the forum will be announced in due course. Thank you.

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