On 20th June 2016, the Silk Road Forum 2016 was jointly hosted by the Development Research Center of the State Council of China and the Finance Center for South-South Cooperation at the capital of Poland, Warsaw. The presidents of China and Poland, Mr. Xi Jinping and Mr. Andrzej Duda respectively, both attended the opening ceremony as keynote speakers. This is the second time of FCSSC to co-organize the Silk Road Forum. Its chairman, Mr. Cai E’sheng also participated in the “on Major International Passageways” seminar.
The forum’s primary theme was: “Jointly Promoting BRI Connectivity”. UNIDO, the World Bank and 13 other international organizations as well as 34 think-tanks and more than 100 business representatives from 33 different countries and regions were involved in the discussion of four main topics, namely: “on Major International Passageways”, “on Innovative Financing Mechanisms”, “on Promoting Sustainable Development”, and “on Sharing Development and Prosperity”.
Since last year’s Silk Road Forum 2015 in Madrid, the Finance Center for South-South Cooperation and one of its strategic partners, the Development Research Center of the State Council of China, have established harmonious and cooperative relations so that they continued to co-organize the Silk Road Forum again this year. One of the FCSSC’s important functions has always been to build platforms so as to promote South-South exchanges. After co-hosting the first South-South Education Program for Economics and Finance with the Tsinghua University PBC School of Finance in late May, staff members of the FCSSC immediately turned to Poland, discussing plans with the Development Research Center concerning the upcoming forum.
Coinciding with his state visit to Poland, China’s President Xi Jinping, accompanied by Wang Huning, Li Zhanshu and Yang Jiechi, attended the opening ceremony of the Silk Road Forum & Poland-China Regional Cooperation & Business Forum. President Xi gave an important speech on “Join hands to create a better future”, stressing to jointly build the "Belt and Road" through consultation, promote regional economic prosperity, safeguard world peace and stability, conform to the trend and comply with the common aspiration of people. President Xi also put forward five suggestions on the construction of the "Belt and Road" initiative, cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European countries (CEEC), and China-Poland cooperation, which includes driving forward overall regional cooperation, highlighting key areas and giving priority to economic and trade cooperation, cooperating closely to promote a closer integration of China-CEEC cooperation, optimizing the mechanism to forge a synergy from local governments, enterprises and other civil organizations, as well as letting wisdom prevail and strengthen the leading and supporting role of think tanks.
The president of Poland, Andrzej Duda, also delivered a speech at the forum, expressing that in favor of the "Belt and Road" initiative, Poland has taken the lead in the Central and Eastern European region in joining the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and has actively contributed to Europe-Asia cooperation. The connection between the Silk Road and the Amber Road will play an important role in promoting security and prosperity in Europe and Asia.
After the opening ceremony, the chairman of the Finance Center for South-South Cooperation, Mr. Cai E’sheng, made a speech regarding the creation of new investment and financing mechanisms as well as the promotion of financial interconnectivity at the “on Major International Passageways” seminar. The seminar was hosted by the acting president of the Polish Information and Foreign Investment Board, Mr. Pawlak. Especially, he mentioned the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the "Belt and Road" initiative, which has created new historical opportunities for South-South cooperation. The FCSSC has also explored related areas, including increasing cooperation on international production capacities, helping developing countries to formulate industrialization strategies, drafting plans for industrial parks, collaborating by matching production capacities, attracting foreign capital investment, providing market-focused financial services for enterprises. To help implement the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, various measures have been undertaken by FCSSC, including: facilitating cooperation between the governments and enterprises of developing countries, providing policy suggestions based on China’s own development experiences and fostering the financing of high-quality projects through innovative funds. At this stage, the FCSSC is working with the United Nations Social Impact Fund to provide financial support in order to promote the industrialization of South-South nations, stress the social responsibilities of enterprises as well as facilitate the building of financial infrastructure and cooperation among the global South. At the same time, the FCSSC is surveying the possibility of building trust-increasing platforms in order to provide credit and assurance for private enterprises planning to ‘go global’.
Meanwhile, at the “on Innovative Financing Mechanisms” seminar on the second day of the forum, the Chairman of the Export-Import Bank of China Ms. Hu Xiaolian, the President of China Development Bank Mr. Zheng Zhijie, the Chairman of the Silk Road Fund Ms. Jin Qi, the CEO International of HSBC Bank Plc. Mr. Christopher Davies and other key financial leaders discussed the coordination and cooperation among multilateral financial institutions so as to attract more capital investments from sovereign-wealth funds, commercial capital and social funds. Then, mayors from some Chinese and Polish cities participated in another seminar called “on Sharing Development and Prosperity” to exchange their city governing experience.
The first Silk Road Forum took place in December 2014 in Istanbul, Turkey, while the second forum was hosted in October 2015 in Madrid, Spain. The forums aim to unite think-tanks from various countries, promote policy sharing, communication and trade between countries connected to the land and maritime Silk Road and allow the jointly built “One Belt One Road” initiative to become a high-end platform for exchanges and cooperation.