Serbian Belt and Road Institute hosted a value-added Conference

China believes in globalization and multilateralism and promotes it with consistent efforts. As a matter of fact, China was a beneficiary of opening up and globalization. The real boost to Chinese developments was witnessed after it joined the WTO. The Chinese leadership has expressed the importance of globalization and opposed protectionism on several occasions. 

Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a practical demonstration of the Chinese policy of globalization and multilateralism. Already almost 150 countries and several international organizations have joined BRI. Many countries are reaping the fruits of BRI. 

The 2nd Belgrade Think Tank, Conference has held in the Palace of Serbia, hall Belgrade, on 01 November 2022. It was officially opened by Mr. Deng Li, Vice Minister of the Foreign Ministry of China, and Secretary-General of the Secretariat for Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries, and Mr. Ivica Dačić, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Government of the Republic of Serbia.

It was very well attended by Serbian and foreign guests. Almost 32 speakers, from 15 Asian, African and European countries, were enlightened with their knowledge, vision, and expertise. The speakers include Serbia and China, as well as Cambodia, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Kenya, Laos, Malaysia, Morocco, North Macedonia, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, and Slovenia.

The Conference was divided into three sessions, and the participants discussed the importance of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China for the world economic and political situation, especially in the light of the global crisis, the main global directions for further peaceful development, the progress of the “Belt and Road” initiative, the challenges of cooperation and new driving forces of joint development, improvement of academic cooperation, promotion of the development of that initiative, and other important topics. The World after the 20th National Congress of the CPC, Trends of Global Leadership & Prospects for the World Economy; Belt and Road Initiative Further Development; and Contribution of Academic Cooperation and Future Talents, 26 speakers addressed the participants.

The conference program was additionally enriched with a special session entitled Keynote addresses by Excellencies, during which the participants and guests were addressed by H.E. Chen Bo, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the Republic of Serbia, H.E. Maja Stefanović, Ambassador of the Republic of Serbia to the People’s Republic of China, and Pavle Bašić, Member of Serbia’s National Council for coordination of cooperation with the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China.

The Belt and Road Institute, whose founders are the Government of Serbia, the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, and the University of Novi Sad, was established with the primary goal of building and expanding a network of key interested institutions and individuals, gathered around a common mission, as well as research opportunities for strengthening existing and creating new successful partnerships and discovering new cooperation mechanisms. The goal of the Institute is to establish a strong partnership with political, industrial, educational, cultural, and other institutions from countries that are part of the “Belt and Road” initiative, with an emphasis on improving Chinese-Serbian relations while promoting the initiative in other countries.

It was an excellent platform for many participating countries, where they shared their experiences on BRI, and how it was useful in their national developments. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), being the flagship project of BRI, was of high interest to many participants. At the same time, it was good learning for participants as well as an opportunity to understand BRI in a diversified scope. It has opened avenues for collaboration and cooperation among the family of BRI nations, which has almost reached up to 150 countries and still growing. 

It is expected that there will be more cooperation between each member of the BRI family with China as well as among other nations in the same family. It will materialize the real dream of globalization and multilateralism. It will ultimately strengthen the philosophy of nations of the “shared future”. Definitely, BRI is a mega initiative for development globally and the whole of humankind will be the end beneficiary of it.

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