First Belt and Road CEO Conference yields fruitful outcomes

By Meng Xianglin from People’s Daily
The Belt and Road CEO Conference, which was held for the first time during the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) in Beijing on April 25, has yielded a bunch of positive outcomes.
About 900 business leaders from 80 countries and regions gathered at the event to discuss cooperation opportunities and signed contracts. They have reached wide consensus and delivered a series of pragmatic outcomes.
90 of the Fortune Global 500 companies, 78 of China’s top-500 enterprises, over 100 Chinese central enterprises and over 200 private companies sent deputies to the conference.
“The number of companies registering for the conference was far more than we expected. Some foreign companies were still asking for a seat even a day before the meeting,” said Gao Yan, chairwoman of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT).
About 100 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from more than 20 countries were invited to attend in the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) held last year. So far, the enterprises have all traded with their Chinese counterparts, according to the United Nations International Trade Center (ITC) Executive Director Arancha Gonzalez.
Some foreign companies sold their farm products to Chinese supermarkets, and enterprises from Nepal and Myanmar exported their tourism resources and services to China, she said, disclosing that the second BRF will witness the signing of agreements between Chinese companies and Ethiopian and Mozambican SMEs.
Co-construction of the Belt and Road has brought opportunities for SMEs in relevant countries.
A deal signing ceremony of 100 projects covering a wide range of industries and concerning various countries was held during the conference. The projects, most of which were about livelihood, are very important and have strong demonstration effects.
The signing ceremony represents a concrete fruit of the deepening and consolidating of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and showcases the enthusiasm of the global business circle toward the co-construction of the Belt and Road.
Cote d’Ivoire’s Ministry of Sports reached an agreement with Chinese company CNBM International Engineering Co., Ltd. on the design and construction of sports infrastructure of the African Cup of Nations.
The agreement signed with the Chinese company is a natural outcome of the pleasant and effective long-term cooperation between China and Cote d’Ivoire, said François Yao Allah, Chief of Staff of the ministry.
Co-construction of the Belt and Road signifies that China is becoming increasingly integrated into global economy, according to Martin Glatz, commercial counselor at the Austrian Embassy in China.
Austrian enterprises are catching this opportunity to cooperate with Chinese companies, especially in the third-party markets, he said, adding that the cooperation agreements signed at the second BRF are bound to write a new chapter for China- Austria trade relationship.
Egypt is taking an active part in the joint construction of the Belt and Road, said a representative with the Egyptian Electricity Holding company when speaking of the company’s agreement with China’s State Grid on upgrading and renovating Egypt’s electricity grid.
“The cooperation between our company and its Chinese counterparts on the co-construction of the Belt and Road has yielded various outcomes and created multiple opportunities,” he said, adding that the second BRF serves a valuable platform to promote exchange and cooperation between enterprises of the two countries.

A foreign representative listens to a speech delivered by a participant at the Belt and Road CEO Conference. Photo by Meng Xianglin, People’s Daily

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