We have launched E-mail Alert service,subscribers can receive the latest catalogues free of charge


Silk Road Forum 2015 concludes


The Silk Road Forum 2015 came to an end on Oct 29 in Madrid, Spain, reaching consensus on the Belt and Road Initiative and further cooperation through think tanks.

The day and a half event discussed such topics as infrastructure connectivity, international capacity cooperation, Silk Road construction and the Post-2015 Development Agenda at a plenary session and roundtables. The Silk Road Think Tank Network, which is expected to combine the wisdom of global think tanks for the building of the Silk Road and promotion of world peace and development, was launched during the forum.

The forum was organized by the Development Research Center of the State Council of China (DRC), the Center for International Relations and Sustainable Development (CIRSD), and the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Spain.

More than 100 senior government officials, think tank leaders, entrepreneurs and scholars spoke at the forum and over 300 representatives from around 30 countries along the Belt and Road route took part.

Also attending the forum were representatives of China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Finance, and State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, as well as of enterprises such as the China Guodian Corporation, the China Development Bank, the China Investment Corporation, and the Silk Road Foundation.

DRC President Li Wei answered questions about how the Initiative implements policy coordination and how it will raise an amount of funding at the International Capacity Cooperation session. He said policy coordination mainly relies on projects and communication among think tanks. The newly established Silk Road Think Tank Network, for example, can play an important role in policy connection, research, experience exchanges, and information sharing. As for fundraising, Li shared China's experience in constructing infrastructure in a short period of time by loan and toll collection and proposed research suggestions.

Long Guoqiang, Vice-President of the DRC, summarized the forum in his closing speech, saying the forum attracted wide high-level participation and conducted in-depth discussions. He said participants contributed many good suggestions, which will be reported to the related departments of the Chinese government and be shared after classification and sorting.

The forum has been fruitful and reached consensus on three points, said Long.

The forum has increased understanding about the goals and strategic significance of the Belt and Road Initiative. The Initiative, one of the greatest international cooperation initiatives of the 21st century, aims at forming a global community of interests and responsibilities to realize regional prosperity and development. It will boost economic development of countries along the route, drive the world economy, and make contributions to world poverty reduction. In addition, it will improve the world economic order and benefit international cooperation and world peace.

The forum is also an effort to promote practical cooperation along the Belt and Road. Long said countries along the route need to increase policy communication to foster interactions between development strategies. The Initiative can be connected to current strategies, such as the Post-2015 Development Agenda, the Juncker Plan for Investment in Europe, and Mongolia's Road to Grassland Plan at multilateral, regional and national levels.

The countries need to creatively promote infrastructure construction and connectivity. Efforts can be made to solve fundraising problems through both development financing institutions and private sectors. For example, China's highway construction raised money from BT (Build-Transfer) and BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer). The countries will deepen cooperation in trade and investment and strengthen governmental cooperation, with both big and small and medium-sized enterprises involved.

Long also pointed out that the forum will give the role of think tanks full play, in exchange of information, policy communication, experience sharing, research, public opinion guidance, and talent cultivation. Think tanks help representatives at the forum increase confidence and reduce doubts about the Belt and Road construction through discussions and dialogues, which is particularly important.

Three discussion units under the plenary session dwelled on such topics as international capacity cooperation, Silk Road construction, and the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Aside from a plenary meeting, the forum had three roundtable meetings focusing on think tank, business, and financial cooperation. Each roundtable meeting had 20-30 participants.

The first conference of the Silk Road Forum was held in Istanbul, Turkey in December 2014. More than 200 participants, including 40-plus high-ranking leaders and senior officials from the governments of 13 countries, attended the meeting, exchanging their ideas on the Belt and Road Initiative.

The forum has increased understanding about the Initiative abroad and helped China appreciate the concerns of related countries.

The forum will be held annually in countries along the route.