On September 14th and 15th, 2017, Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) and Foundation Prospective and Innovation of France co-hosted a special meeting themed on “‘Belt and Road’ Initiative: Building Synergy with European Policies and Strategies” to study how to dovetail with Junker plan and other development plans of various countries. It is believed at the conference that under the “Belt and Road” Initiative, Asia and Europe can carry out in-depth cooperation in fields such as infrastructure, connectivity, trade and investment systemic arrangement, and industrial innovation and so on, give full play to their respective potentials in trade and investment and promote the in-depth integration between Asia and Europe and achieve economic prosperity across the board.
This is the second time that BFA has held a meeting in Paris since it held International Capital Conference in Paris in November 2011. Besides the opening ceremony and welcome dinner, there were three sessions including “Infrastructure Connectivity”, “Promoting Trade and Investment” and “Inclusive and Innovative Ways of Funding” and a CEO dialogue “ ‘Belt and Road’ Initiative: The Role of the Market and Business”.
More than 300 representatives from 19 countries and regions including China, France, Germany and Britain attended the meeting.
At the Session “Infrastructure Connectivity”, it was discussed that infrastructure is of paramount significance for the recovery of global economy. Both developed and developing nations are focusing on their infrastructure. Under the principle of “extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits”, the “Belt and Road” Initiative will facilitate the infrastructure construction in the Belt and Road countries and promote connectivity between Asia and Europe. In the future, a “Belt and Road” coordination and cooperation mechanism should be set up to strengthen policy coordination and achieve connectivity between Asia and Europe.
At the Session “Promoting Trade and Investment”, delegates believed that the “Belt and Road” Initiative plays an important role in promoting trade and investment facilitation in Asia and Europe. Great support should be given to the establishment of a multilateral trade system. It is advised that a global investment promotion system should be established by referring to WTO to boost global liquidity. In addition, more and more attention and support have been given to SMEs’ active participation in cross-border trade and investment activities. Attention should also be paid to the application of new technologies and the development of e-commerce.
At the Session “Inclusive and Innovative Ways of Funding”, delegates believed that globally and along the Belt and Road route infrastructure is lacking in capital and government financing alone is not sufficient. The potentials of the private sector should be fully tapped. The European market should grasp the opportunities brought by the “Belt and Road” Initiative. RMB internationalization is of vital importance for the “Belt and Road” Initiative. The local currencies should play an important role in this regard and a regional financial center should be established. The essence of Fintech is finance per se and the nature of financial crisis remains the same. Attention should be paid to risk management.
The CEO dialogue, themed on “‘Belt and Road’ Initiative: The Role of the Market and Business”, was a closed door meeting and was co-hosted by RAFFARIN and ZHAO Jinjun. Twenty seven Chinese and foreign delegates exchanged their views on issues related to infrastructure connectivity, China-Europe energy cooperation, mutual investment and financial science and technology.
On 15th, the French President Macron met with Chinese delegates of the Meeting. He remarked that the “Belt ad Road” Initiative is a major initiative of China and is of political, economic and cultural significance and that it will build a bridge for the development of Eurasian Continent. Currently, the international situation is still facing many uncertainties and challenges. The “Belt ad Road” Initiative provides a great development opportunity for various countries and a good way to address imbalance and instability. France is willing to work with China to actively engage in the “Belt ad Road” construction so as to promote the prosperity, stability and development of Eurasian Continent and Africa in compliance with relevant rules and standards.