“Belt and Road cooperation can be a beacon and role model of success,” said Zlatko Lagumdžija, former Prime Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina, when addressing The 3rd Jingshi Belt and Road Forum. He believed that the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) demonstrates a “type of cooperation based on shared leadership for shared and sustainable future, vision, values, society, and development”. China first proposed the BRI in 2013. Since then, the initiative has created economic opportunities and boosted common development among a number of countries.
According to a research by the World Bank, BRI transport corridors, if completed, could lower travel times by up to 12%, while non-BRI countries and regions will benefit as well. Meanwhile, for corridor economies, trade could grow between 2.8 and 9.7%; income will increase by up to 3.4%; and it could lift 7.6 million people from extreme poverty and 32 million people from moderate poverty.
“I think it’s very important that China’s leaders are stressing the meaning of inclusiveness of globalization, which is referred to as win-win,” said Grzegorz W. Kolodko, former Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance of Poland. And the BRI is a facilitator of the win-win globalization, which in Grzegorz’s opinion, is “a must for the future in the world of post-pandemic and climate change”.
When promoting global cooperation, China also faces“complex and ambitious challenges,” which as Kyrgyzstan’s former Prime Minister Djoomart Otorbaev pointed out, is the “global ‘competition’ with the United States”, but it also has a positive side.
“Now we have the Gateway program of the European Union and Build Back Better of the United States,” Grzegorz elaborated. He believes that the EU and the US’ ‘competition’ with China in terms of economic assistance to developing countries promotes sustainable development and is positive prognostic for the future.
“I think that it is slowly but coming to the mind of the leaders of some other countries...that there are more and more problems which we cannot solve without active participation and engagement of China, starting from fighting the climate change and the post-pandemic syndrome,” said Grzegorz.
From Zlatko’s perspective, China has always been firmly standing by “the core values and basic principles, multilateralism, pursuing mutual benefit, seeking common ground, while reserving differences, upholding fairness and justice, and promoting development through cooperation”.
In a time of unprecedented challenges,“solidarity and cooperation may stand as our most powerful weapon”, said Zlatko. And “advancing high quality Belt and Road cooperation” can offer a chance for countries “to work together in saving lives, protecting the poor and vulnerable by saving jobs and businesses and building a resilient recovery”.
The Jingshi Belt and Road Forum is hosted by the Belt and Road School of the Beijing Normal University. This year, it featured the theme of building high quality Belt and Road cooperation and promoting the development of the Guangdong-Macao In-Depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin. Over 100 experts, scholars, and enterprise representatives attended the forum.