Platform for global modernization
22 Nov 2023


China's higher-level opening-up is spurring the vitality of global trade and the construction of an open world economy


Editor's note: Global sustainable development and globalization are facing uncertainties and the risk of geoeconomic fragmentation. According to the World Openness Report 2023, the overall downward trend in world openness since 2008 continued in 2022, with divergence intensifying among countries and regions, while corresponding figures for emerging economies and developing countries have increased.


Global sustainable development is facing multiple obstacles. As the Belt and Road Initiative marked its 10th anniversary this year, it is fitting to summarize how the initiative has contributed to and supported the United Nations sustainable development agenda, in order to boost confidence in global progress.


This year marked the full comeback of the China International Import Expo after the pandemic. This year's expo is considered as a milestone for the advancement of Chinese modernization through open development.


By opening up to the world, China influences the global economy, and in turn, the global economy influences China.


The initiative aligns with the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which is a guiding document for global development cooperation. Focusing on policy coordination, infrastructure connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration, and closer people-to-people ties, the BRI has generated a wide array of development cooperation projects and become a new platform for international trade and investment. The initiative, which has become a Chinese solutions to accelerate the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, has improved people's well-being in various countries.


Through practical actions to jointly build the Belt and Road, more resources are directed to support developing economies, producing tangible benefits for partner countries. Upholding the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, the BRI aims at high standards, sustainability and the attainment of a better life for people in all participating countries. It has promoted high-level regional cooperation, broadened trilateral cooperation, and blazed a new trail for South-South cooperation.


The vitality and resilience of the Belt and Road cooperative projects have drawn worldwide attention and received high recognition from the international community. The advancement of the BRI brings certainty to global sustainable development, shapes a new paradigm for international development cooperation, and enriches global development partnerships.


The smooth advancement of the global sustainable development agenda requires the collective efforts of countries worldwide, with a key focus on assisting developing countries to unlock their economic and social development potential.


Developing countries are struggling with both external environments and internal constraints related to funding, technology and talent. Since its inauguration in 2018, the China International Import Expo, known as the CIIE, has provided exhibition booths free of charge for the least developed countries each year, offering them a platform for product showcase, investment negotiation, and cultural exchanges. This has enabled them to introduce specialty products and resources to the Chinese market, share opportunities from China's growth, and ride on the wave of global economic development.


Statistics show that 131 countries and international organizations participated in the country exhibitions at the first five CIIEs, debuting about 2,000 new products, new technologies and new services, and scoring a cumulative value of nearly $350 billion in agreements of intent.


Developing countries have become key participants and builders of global openness. Via the exhibition and forum, the CIIE provides the developing countries with growth opportunities as well as a platform for dialogues on international cooperation.


As the world's largest developing country, China has embarked on a path of modernization that suits its national conditions. This has had a lasting and profound influence on the modernization efforts of many developing economies and the world at large as it has provided the option of another pathway to modernization, and provided valuable referential experiences for developing countries and enhanced the understanding of the diversity of civilizations.


Chinese modernization presents a big opportunity for building an open world economy. It has not only fueled the growth of China, but also injected momentum into the global economic recovery. According to the International Monetary Fund, China is forecast to contribute around 30 percent of global economic growth in 2023.


China's open development will also help make Asia the most economically robust region in the post-pandemic world as it is producing new opportunities.


As China modernizes, it is carrying out the developing concepts including green and sustainable, peaceful development and mutual benefit and win-win into international development cooperation, as well as the governing philosophy of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits. China is willing to work with the world to jointly pursue global modernization featuring peaceful development, mutually beneficial cooperation and common prosperity.

The author is the president of the Research Center for the Hongqiao International Economic Forum. The author contributed this article to China Watch, a think tank powered by China Daily.


Source: China Daily