In the golden month of October, the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) was held in Beijing, China. This BRF was attended by over 10,000 registered representatives from 151 countries and 41 international organisations. The scale of participation has once again showcased the tremendous appeal and global influence of Belt and Road cooperation. The success of the BRF proves that China has followed the right direction in advancing Belt and Road cooperation, that BRI partners have shown firm commitment to participation, and that high-quality Belt and Road cooperation enjoys bright prospects.
Chinese President Xi Jinping attended the opening ceremony and delivered a keynote speech, announcing eight major steps China will take to support high-quality Belt and Road cooperation.
These include steps to build a multidimensional Belt and Road connectivity network, promote green development, and advance scientific and technological innovation.
They also include specific projects of practical cooperation, people-to-people exchanges, and institution-building for Belt and Road cooperation. The eight major steps set a new direction, open new vistas and generate new momentum for the BRI.
During this BRF, 458 outcomes have been reached. They include important cooperation initiatives and institutional arrangements such as the Beijing Initiative for Deepening Cooperation on Connectivity, the Beijing Initiative for Belt and Road Green Development, the Beijing Initiative on the Belt and Road International Digital Economy Cooperation, the Green Investment and Finance Partnership, and High-Level Principles on Belt and Road Integrity Building.
They also include specific targets including providing 100,000 training opportunities on green development for partner countries by 2030, and increasing the number of joint laboratories to 100. Commercial agreements worth US$ 97.2 billion have been concluded at the CEO Conference, which will help generate jobs and growth in relevant countries. Belt and Road cooperation is about concrete action, will provide sustained impetus for global growth and common development across the world.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the BRI proposed by President Xi. Over these 10 years, China has signed over 200 Belt and Road cooperation documents with 152 countries and 32 international organisations, covering five continents and major international organisations, building an extensive circle of friends. In terms of trade, China’s trade in goods with BRI countries grew from US$1.04 trillion in 2013 to US$2.07 trillion in 2022, with an average annual growth rate of eight per cent. In terms of investment, the bilateral investment between China and BRI countries has exceeded US$270 billion. The cumulative investment in overseas economic and trade cooperation zones built by Chinese enterprises in countries along the Belt and Road has reached US$57.13 billion, creating 421,000 local jobs and helping 40 million people out of poverty. In terms of engineering construction, China’s newly signed contract value and completed turnover in BRI countries have exceeded US$1.2 trillion and US$800 billion. These tangible results prove that Belt and Road cooperation is on the right side of history. It represents the advancing of our times, and it is the right path forward.
Belt and Road Cooperation is the most vivid practice of China’s commitment to building a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind.
This year also marks the 10th anniversary of President Xi’s proposal of building a community with a shared future for mankind. Over the past 10 years, from bilateral to multilateral and from regional to global dimensions, China has reached consensus with dozens of countries and regions on building a community with a shared future. A Community with a Shared Future for Mankind has been included in the United Nations General Assembly resolutions for six consecutive years, and has been included in the resolutions or declarations of multilateral mechanisms such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and BRICS for many times, has received positive response and clear support from the vast majority of countries in the world.
The Chinese government released a white paper “A Global Community of Shared Future: China’s Proposals and Actions” on September 26 to introduce the theoretical base, practice and development of a global community of shared future, as by presenting China’s vision of the course of human development. China will developed the broad consensus of solidarity and cooperation in the international community behind the proposal and the implementation of the concept. Together we will build an open, inclusive, clean, and beautiful world of lasting peace, universal security and shared prosperity, and jointly create a better future for all of humanity.
China-Ghana BRI cooperation continues to deepen. In 2018, China and Ghana signed the Memorandum of Understanding on BRI Cooperation. Hon. Simon Osei-Mensah, Ashanti Regional Minister, led a delegation to attend the Third Belt and Road Forum and had extensive, in-depth and enthusiastic exchanges. Since the BRI was launched in Ghana, it has provided tremendous support for Ghana’s economic and social development. In May, China joined the Official Creditor Committee of Ghana as the Co-Chair and helped Ghana secure the IMF US$3 billion deal in record time. In 2022, bilateral trade volume reached an unprecedented high at US$10.2 billion. Ghana’s exports to China surged by 60 per cent during the same period. China remains Ghana’s largest trading partner and major foreign investment source for years.
The China-aided Annex Building of the Foreign Ministry and China-aided military building began construction. Aid projects including the Jamestown Fishing Port and the University of Health and Allied Sciences Phase II are progressing steadily. Five projects under the Sinohydro package plan have been started or completed respectively.
The modernisation China is pursuing is not for China alone, but for all countries including Ghana through our joint efforts.
The future of mankind is closely linked. Whenever and whatever we’ll be together forever. China cannot do without the world in achieving development, and that the world also needs China for prosperity.
Belt and Road cooperation was proposed by China, but its benefits and opportunities are for the world to share. Let us meet the expectations of the people, assume responsibilities entrusted on us by history, closely follow the trend of the times, and press ahead with energy and enterprise. Let us deepen Belt and Road international cooperation, and bring Belt and Road cooperation to a new stage of higher-quality and higher-level development. Let us advance modernisation of all countries, build an open, inclusive and interconnected world for common development, and jointly build a community with a shared future for mankind.
H.E. Lu Kun is China’s Ambassador to Ghana