BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday announced that China will take eight major steps to support the joint pursuit of high-quality Belt and Road cooperation with participating countries.
Xi made the announcement while delivering a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing.
To carry out practical cooperation for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Xi said China vows more financing support for BRI projects on the basis of market and business operations.
The China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China will each set up a 350 billion yuan ($48.75 billion) financing window, and an additional 80 billion yuan will be injected into the Silk Road Fund, the Chinese president announced.
Xi also revealed that the CEO Conference during the Forum held on Tuesday saw the conclusion of agreements worth $97.2 billion, Pakistan’s official news agency reported.
China will also support an open world economy through measures such as establishing pilot zones for Silk Road e-commerce cooperation, entering into free trade agreements and investment protection treaties with more countries, and removing all restrictions on foreign investment access in the manufacturing sector, he said.
To support the joint pursuit of high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, China, according to Xi, will also take steps to build a multidimensional Belt and Road connectivity network, continuing to promote green development, and advancing scientific and technological innovation.
China will also support people-to-people exchanges, promote integrity-based Belt and Road cooperation, and strengthen institutional building for international Belt and Road cooperation, Xi said.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the BRI. By June 2023, China had signed more than 200 BRI cooperation agreements with over 150 countries and 30-plus international organisations.
“The Belt and Road cooperation was proposed by China, but its benefits and opportunities are for the world to share,” said Xi in his speech.
Addressing the opening ceremony, state leaders and heads of international organisations spoke highly of what has been achieved under the BRI over the past decade and expressed confidence in its prospects.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said the BRI links very well with the development of integration projects in regions across the world, while Indonesian President Joko Widodo expressed the hope that development synergies under the BRI will continue.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the relevance of the BRI is undeniable in the midst of the challenges facing the world today.