3rd Belt and Road Forum: Charting a path to common development and prosperity

A man walks past the logo of the Belt and Road Forum at the National Convention Center in Beijing on October 15, 2023. (Photo/AFP)

The third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) begins in Beijing and is slated to take place from 17-18th of October, marking the most significant diplomatic event hosted by China this year. This forum also serves as a celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). With the theme of "High-quality Belt and Road Cooperation: Together for Common Development and Prosperity," here's a glimpse of what we can expect from this much-anticipated event.

Setting the Stage: A Decade of Progress

Chinese President Xi Jinping, who introduced the BRI in 2013, will play a pivotal role in the  forum. Xi will attend the opening ceremony, to be held on Thursday and deliver a keynote speech, engage in bilateral events with participating guests. The event is expected to draw representatives from over 140 countries and 30 international organizations, with more than 4,000 delegates registered for participation. Together, they will work to sketch a new blueprint for high-quality Belt and Road cooperation.

Over the past decade, the BRI has evolved from a vision into a tangible reality, with China signing more than 200 BRI cooperation agreements with over 150 countries and numerous international organizations across five continents. This has resulted in a plethora of signature projects and smaller yet impactful initiatives. The BRI, as emphasized by Xi, is a global endeavor that goes beyond China's borders.

Fruitful Discussions and Outcomes

The third BRF will feature three high-level forums that will delve into discussions about connectivity, green development, and the digital economy. Additionally, six thematic forums will run concurrently, focusing on trade connectivity, people-to-people bonds, think tank exchanges, clean silk road, subnational cooperation, and maritime cooperation. A CEO Conference is also on the agenda.

A Chair's Statement will be issued to encapsulate the consensus reached by participants and set the course for future high-quality Belt and Road cooperation. Further, a List of Multilateral Cooperation Deliverables and a List of Practical Projects will be unveiled, showcasing the outcomes generated during the forums.

It's anticipated that the third BRF will yield substantial results in the form of cooperation documents, initiatives, and mechanisms, along with projects, funds, and measures. The number of deliverables is expected to surpass those of the previous two forums, underscoring the forum's significance.

For a Brighter Future

Building upon a decade of achievements, high-quality BRI cooperation is poised for innovation and greater openness and inclusivity. The third BRF's focus on common development and prosperity is expected to foster global expectations for economic globalization.

China remains committed to its principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution, and shared benefits, promoting open, green, and clean cooperation. The BRI aims for high standards, sustainability, and better lives, working hand in hand with its partners. This forum is a demonstration of China's dedication to the comprehensive success of the BRI and the development of a shared future for humanity.

The forum reinforces the notion that the BRI is a long-term, global project of the 21st century, showcasing China's confidence and determination in realizing this vision.

It represents a pivotal moment in the ongoing journey and signifies China's commitment to fostering common development and prosperity on a global scale while addressing concerns and evolving the BRI to meet the demands of the modern world. This forum is set to chart a course for the next decade of international cooperation and connectivity.