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Adhere to the Principle of Co-Construction of Silk Road Think Tank Network – Opening Address Made at the Annual Meeting of Silk Road Think Tank Network 2017

( drc.gov.cn ) 2017-06-12

Adhere to the Principle of Co-Construction of Silk Road Think Tank Network – Opening Address Made at the Annual Meeting of Silk Road Think Tank Network 2017

By Li Wei, DRC


Today, in the hall of the Development Research Center of the State Council, our friends, both old and new, from more than 30 countries are happily gathered here to hold the annual meeting of the Silk Road Think Tank Network (SiLKS) 2017. They are from 43 think tanks, 12 international organizations and more than 20 multinational companies across the world.

Over the past three years, we have met respectively in Istanbul, Madrid and Warsaw and witnessed the grand occasion of the establishment of SiLKS. The progress of One Belt and One Road construction has moved fast beyond our expectations, with a large number of projects being in place in countries and regions along the routes and these projects have generated benefits to the local people in terms of tax revenues and employment opportunities.

Over the past three years, the construction of the SiLKS platform and mechanism has been forging ahead steadily. Today, we are going to announce the formal establishment of a steering committee of SiLKS, and will review and approve the application of 7 institutions and organizations for membership.

Over the past three years, members and partners of SiLKS have played a positive role in promoting the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative. It is decided that after each annual meeting of SiLKS, we will send all the valuable opinions and suggestions to Chinese leaders and relevant departments. The opinions and suggestions received so far have received high concern by leading members of the government. In the new era, the role of think tanks is becoming even more important. President Xi Jinping once pointed out that the Belt and Road Initiative should bring into play the initiatives of think tanks and the government needs to enhance the leading role played by think tanks.

I would like to take this opportunity to propose some suggestions on the future work of SiLKS. First, we need to follow the principle of joint consultations and co-construction with win-win results and common benefits. We need to encourage all members and partners to play their role and give free rein to their respective advantages so as to make their due contributions and gain a greater sense of benefits. On one hand, we need to make good use of eSiLKS, the electronic online work platform of SiLKS and on the other hand, the steering committee will play its due role. Second, we need to learn from each other and promote common development. It is the only way to achieve development for various countries through mutual learning of each other’s development experience and applying the experience in light of each country’s national conditions. President Xi Jinping has stated that China would set up an international knowledge center for the research and exchange of the development theories and practices that can be applied in different countries compatible to their national conditions. With more than one year of hard work, we have completed the preparatory work. I will concurrently take the post as director of the knowledge center, and the launching ceremony is going to be held in the near future. Third, we need to focus on major areas and enhance our collaborative research. At present, SiLKS has 47 members and partners, with 7 institutions joining soon. We welcome more new members and partners to join us and SiLKS will represent the views of more and more countries and its research fields will become wider and broader. To realize effective cooperation, we need to fix up the key areas and issues for joint research in order to produce a number of research findings in a targeted manner. Within the next one to two years, we would strive to accomplish a number of representative, effective and influential achievements through cooperation and joint efforts so as to contribute more to the Belt and Road Initiative.