Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan spoke at the Thematic Session on Trade Connectivity of Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation Release date:2017-12-14


On the afternoon of May 14, Thematic Session on Trade Connectivity of Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation opened at China National Convention Center in Beijing. Chinese Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan attended the conference and delivered a keynote speech. The conference published the Cooperation Initiative of Promoting Belt and Road Trade Connectivity.

Zhong said that the keynote speech delivered by President Xi Jinping at the opening ceremony of the forum elaborated on the profound connotation of the "silk spirits", reviewed the fruitful achievements obtained in the construction of the "Belt and Road," and proposed the development path and major measures of future cooperation from the perspective of promoting global development. The Thematic Session on Trade Connectivity was guided by the keynote speech of President Xi, carried out discussion focusing on trade connectivity, drew on the wisdom of the masses, built consensuses and contributed experience and wisdom for deepening trade and economic cooperation of the "Belt and Road."

Zhong pointed out that trade connectivity is an important content of the construction of the "Belt and Road". Since the proposal of the "Belt and Road," trade connectivity has not only drove the economic growth of all countries, improved the social welfare, but also promoted industrial cooperation and technology transfer and brought tangible benefits for the countries and the peoples along the line. Promoting trade connectivity of the "Belt and Road" needs to develop the silk road spirit, expand cooperation thought, tap cooperation basis, further promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, enlarged trade scale and strive to promote trade to develop in a balanced, coordinated, green and sustainable way.

Zhong said that in order to promote trade connectivity of the "Belt and Road", China attaches great importance to connection, efficiency, win-win result and development, proposing five important measures:

Firstly, China International Import Expo will be held in 2018, which can not only provide convenience for China to expand import, but also build a multilateral public platform for all countries to carry out trade and promote global trade growth. Secondly, free trade agreement negotiation will be promoted. Efforts will be made to insist on open and transparent principles and jointly discuss the construction of free trade areas including the RCEP with the willing countries and regions to improve the level of free trade area. Thirdly, trade facilitation will be positively promoted. Efforts will be made to maintain the multilateral trade system. China will sign trade and economic cooperation agreements with more than 30 countries and implement 100 trade investment promotion projects with countries along the line. Fourthly, trade and economic industrial cooperation zone will be jointly built. Efforts should be made to forge a batch of cooperation zones with favorable scale merit, obvious radiation effect and strong power to drive employment. Fifthly, efforts will be made to help countries along the line to strengthen the building up of their capacity. In the next five years, China is willing to provide 10,000 research and training places in China for countries along the line, send 50 senior trade and economic experts, jointly promote and implement the United Nations' Sustainable Development Agenda in 2030 with the countries along the line, and support 20 trade and investment promotion arrangements of the WTO and the relevant UN institutions.

Zhong emphasized that promoting the trade connectivity of the "Belt and Road" needs to adhere to the principle of common discussion, common building and common sharing, build consensuses and jointly take actions. China will jointly propose the cooperation initiative of promoting trade connectivity of the "Belt and Road" with more than 60 countries and international organizations.

Nine participants such as Vice Premier and Minister of Foreign Trade of Employment, Economy and Consumption Industry of Belgium Kris Peeters, Director-General of General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China Yu Guangzhou, Vice Premier and Minister of Foreign Trade and Economies of Bosnia and Herzegovina Sarovic, Director of the State Administration of Taxation of the People's Republic of China Wang Jun, Vice Premier and Minister of Economy of Moldova Octavian Kalmyk, Director of the General Administration of Quality Supervision of the People's Republic of China Zhi Shuping, the First Vice Premier and Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine Stepan Kubiv, Director-General of the World Trade Organization Roberto Azevedo, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations and Secretary-General of UNCTAD Mukhisa Kituyi delivered speeches successively. All participants jointly watched the short film Common Destiny and conducted interaction and communication focusing on topics such as promoting trade facilitation, prospering mutual investments, trade and sustainable development.

Almost 200 representatives from more than 60 countries (regions) and more than 10 international organizations participated in the conference, among which representatives from 20 countries and 5 international organizations delivered speeches or joined in the interaction and communication.