The forum was organized by the Development Research Center of the State Council of China, the Centre for International Relations and Sustainable Development and the Chinese Embassy in Spain, and co-organized by the United Nations Development Program, China Development Research Foundation, Finance Center for South-South Cooperation and Toledo International Center for Peace. More than 300 guests from over 30 nations along “The Belt and Road” initiative and international institutions participated in the forum.
The objective of the forum is to unite the Think Tanks of countries involved in the Silk Road and promote communication at an international level, with the aim of uniting institutions, promoting the flow of commerce and communication to build a high-end platform.
The Director of the Development Research Center, Mr. Li Wei, commented in his opening speech that “The Belt and Road” initiative is a mean for nations in the region to escape structural contradictions and lead to the next phase of prosperity and progressive economic growth. In an effort to do so, all nations in the region need to form mutual beneficial cooperative relationship and the solution to domestic structural contradictions in many countries also depends on cooperating with other nations.
Speaking at the Silk Road and Post-2015 Development Agenda session of the forum, Mr. Cai E-sheng said that South-South Cooperation is an important measure for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) since developing countries account for more than 70% of nations in the world. Therefore, whether the development model and path of Southern countries in the next 15 years meets the requirement of the SDGS will directly determine the achievement of these objectives as scheduled. Through South-South Cooperation, developing countries can better exchange their experiences and best practices in achieving the SDGs.
Mr. Cai’s speech also highlighted that “The Belt and Road” is the most practical platform to promote South-South Cooperation for the implementation of the SDGs. Over the past 30 years, China has implemented “infrastructure first”, “promoting industrialization through comparative advantage” and “Developing special economic zones” and other successful development strategies which are of great value to the implementation of the SDGs. Meanwhile, along the path of its rigorous development, China has accumulated vast amount of production capacities and technologies which are suitable to the industrial development of Southern countries.
During the forum, the Silk Road Think Tank Network was officially launched and the Finance Center for South-South Cooperation and 40 other think tanks from over 27 countries, as well as the UNDP and other international institutions became its founding members.