On December 7, the 2018 Silk Road Forum -an annual international meeting to promote the Belt and Road Initiative- hosted by the Development Research Center of the State Council of China (DRC) and co-organized by the Finance Center for South-South Cooperation (FCSSC) was held in Paris, France. Jean-Pierre Raffarin, former French Prime Minister, Li Yong, Director General of UNIDO, Vuk Jeremić, President of the Center for International Relations and Sustainable Development (CIRSD), and Li Wei, President of the DRC, attended the opening ceremony presided over by Mario Pezzini, Director of the OECD Development Centre. Cai E’Sheng, Chairman of FCSSC, participated as a speaker in the seminar on “BRI and Open World Economy” and Wu Zhong, Director-General of FCSSC, attended the welcome dinner that evening and delivered a speech.
The theme of the forum was “Building a Belt and Road: Promoting Global Sustainable Development,” covering “BRI and Open World Economy,” “BRI and Green, Low-Carbon Development,” “BRI and the New Round of Technological Revolution,” and “BRI and Inclusive Development” as main topics. The attendees included more than 300 representatives from more than 35 countries and 90 institutions from around the globe.
Cai E’Sheng, Chairman of FCSSC, pointed out in his presentation that nowadays although there have been doubts about further opening up and cooperation among countries around the world, he is convinced that “open cooperation is a requirement to promote a stable recovery of world's economy. Therefore, an open cooperation platform will boost the development of multi-parties collaboration helping the global economy finding new directions and building a strengthened foundation for further progress. Making an open world economy requires stronger partnerships and commitments to achieve sustainable development goals. The construction and development of the “Belt and Road Initiative” have responded positively to the demands above, and has established stable partnerships and open multilateral cooperation with countries along the route to make active efforts to solve the sustainable development challenge jointly.” Furthermore, the Finance Center for South-South Cooperation looks forward to in-depth cooperation in the fields of industrial innovation and finance serving businesses that are conducive to the realization of the sustainable development goals.
Moreover, Cai E’Shen on behalf of FCSSC as a founding member of the Silk Road think tank network participated in the Silk Road International Think Tank Network Conference. Cai E’Shen said that FCSSC has actively played the role of the experience sharing platform. The Center not only has shared development experiences through forums and training, but also has gathered experts to provide advice on public policy matters to developing countries, and established the Six Industrial Research Institute with Fudan University in China. Likewise, the Center publishes a series of research outcomes every year. Among them, the "South-South Cooperation Annual Report" is the center's iconic knowledge achievement and this year main topic is on “South-South cooperation in the digital world,” which will be released at the Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation in March 2019.
Wu Zhong, Director-General of FCSSC, attended the welcome dinner hosted by Tao Pingsheng, Director General of Department of International Cooperation of DRC that evening and delivered a speech referring to the situation in Paris at that time from a broader perspective. He stated that "we are not only discussing the future of Paris but also discussing the future of the Paris Agreement. In the current divergence of global governance, humankind needs to strive for solutions actively, the trends of countries moving toward openness and integration have not changed, and regardless of whether the future is sunny or rainy, cooperation and mutual benefit are the only right ways."
The first Silk Road International Forum was held in Istanbul, Turkey in December 2014. The second forum took place in Madrid, Spain in October 2015. The third forum was celebrated in Warsaw, Poland on June 20, 2016, where Chinese President Xi Jinping attended and delivered a keynote speech. The conference aims to converge the strengths of national think tanks, promote national policy communication, facilities and trade in the Luhai Silk Road, and build a high-end exchange and cooperation platform for the joint construction of the “Belt and Road.”