|The Advisory Council of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation Holds the 2020 Video Meeting|
On December 18, 2020, the Meeting of the Advisory Council of the 2020 Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation was held via video link. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi addressed the opening ceremony. The meeting was attended by all the members of the Advisory Council and chaired by Convener of the Advisory Council and Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu. At the meeting, members discussed the progress, opportunities and challenges of international cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), as well as the areas for expanding cooperation under the new circumstances.
The meeting viewed the BRI as a major initiative to support multilateralism, promote world economic growth and facilitate South-South cooperation, embodying a brand-new concept and model of cooperation. Against the concurrence of COVID-19 disruptions and the world economic recession, the BRI not only reflects the resilience to cope with risks, but also builds a platform and provides support for partners to fight the virus, stabilize the economy and promote development, and in so doing demonstrates its strong vitality and influence.
Council members said, China has seen rapid economic recovery and restoration of growth, increasing expansion of the market and unimpeded circulation in the domestic market, making an important contribution to boosting the recovery of the world economy. The fostering of a new development paradigm in China will make the Chinese economy more robust and resilient, further promote domestic and international circulations and opening up to the outside world, and provide the BRI with historic opportunities.
Council members believe there are more opportunities than challenges in Belt and Road cooperation and the BRI will play a key role in the world development in the post-pandemic era. President Xi Jinping's proposal on making the Belt and Road a model of health, recovery, growth and cooperation has charted the course for Belt and Road international cooperation. Based on this, Council members proposed to strengthen the synergy of the BRI with the development strategies of various countries and regions, coordinate COVID-19 response and practical cooperation in such fields as infrastructure construction, trade and investment, and help countries in economic recovery and growth; spur public health cooperation, and develop cooperation mechanisms; build the Green Silk Road, and provide support for tackling climate change and implementing the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; enlarge new fields of cooperation such as 5G, smart city and big data technology application, enhance digital infrastructure connectivity and build the Digital Silk Road.
Founded in 2018, the Advisory Council of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation performs the main function of providing intelligence support for the BRF and relevant international cooperation. The current members of the Advisory Committee include: former Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi, former French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, former Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov, former Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf, former Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission Erastus Mwencha, former Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific Shamshad Akhtar, Distinguished Fellow of the National University of Singapore Kishore Mahbubani, the UK HM Treasury's Financial and Professional Services Envoy to the Belt and Road Initiative Douglas Flint, Senior Vice President of the World Bank Mari Elka Pangestu (special guest), Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean Alicia Bárcena Ibarra (special guest), and former Vice President of the World Bank Justin Yifu Lin.