BRI 10-year-anniversary: China to hold third Belt and Road Forum next week

China will next week host the third forum for its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – the government's signature foreign policy strategy – with scores of international leaders set to attend the key event.

The conference in Beijing between October 17 and 18 marks the 10th anniversary of the massive international infrastructure project, with representatives from more than 130 countries expected to take part.

"Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend the opening ceremony of the forum and deliver a keynote speech," foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said on Wednesday, in a conference finalizing the dates for the event. He will also "hold a welcome banquet for foreign leaders and heads of international organizations attending the forum," she added.


A day in the life of a Belt and Road Initiative employee

10 years of the Belt and Road Initiative – The Agenda 

What's happening with the Belt and Road Initiative 

What is the BRI and why is the conference important?

The BRI is a plan for global infrastructure and energy networks that China launched a decade ago to connect Asia with Africa and Europe through land and maritime routes. Billed as recreating the ancient Silk Road route to boost global trade, the initiative has seen China sign cooperation documents with more than 150 countries and more than 30 international organizations.

Coinciding with the announcement of next week's plans, Beijing on Tuesday released a white paper presenting the achievements of the BRI dubbed "The Belt and Road Initiative: A Key Pillar of the Global Community of Shared Future" – essentially a review and preview of the landmark initiative. 

BRI has brought remarkable and profound change to the world. /CFP
BRI has brought remarkable and profound change to the world. /CFP

BRI has brought remarkable and profound change to the world. /CFP

The document states that in the 10 years that have passed since the BRI's launch, cooperation under the framework had "brought remarkable and profound change to the world," contributing to "the sound development of economic globalization" and helping to resolve global development challenges.

In fact, according to a World Bank report, the BRI increased the trade of participating parties by 4.1 percent, attracted 5 percent more foreign investment, and leveled up the GDP of low-income countries by 3.4 percent. It also estimates that by 2030, the BRI will generate $1.6 trillion in global revenue each year, accounting for 1.3 percent of global GDP.

This has largely come about through Chinese investment, as well as the creation of a connectivity framework which involves multiple new rail and sea corridors for trade, which have especially improved the connectivity of inland countries such as Laos, Nepal and Kazakhstan.

The BRI's goals now, the white paper added, were "to pass on the torch of peace from generation to generation, sustain development, ensure that civilizations flourish, and build a global community of shared future."

An integral step in the process, the long-awaited Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, has the theme of "High-quality Belt and Road Cooperation: Together for Common Development and Prosperity."

With so many nations in attendance, its aim will be to help nurture new opportunities for international cooperation and convey a signal that the BRI will be indispensable to promoting unity and common development for those involved. 

BRI 10-year-anniversary: China to hold third Belt and Road Forum next week

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