Shenzhen held the first “Belt and Road” City Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum on Friday, aiming to build a platform to pull together businessmen and government officials in the southern Guangdong city.
Shenzhen wants to provide intellectual supports to local and international investors who are interested in trade and investment projects along the Belt and Road countries, Chen Biao, Vice Mayor of Shenzhen municipal government, said in an opening speech of the forum.
Chen said he hopes the forum will become a platform for the city governments in the Belt and Road countries to communicate and enhance trade cooperation.
Attended by about 300 participants, the full-day forum was held in Wuzhou Guest House in Shenzhen.
Shenzhen municipal government is the organiser of the forum and invited Pakistani Ambassador to China Masood Khalid and Russian General Consul in Guangzhou Vladimir Mitypov. The China Society for World Trade Organization Studies, a unit of China’s Ministry of Commerce, is the co-organiser.
The forum was jointly hosted by Shenzhen’s Economy, Trade and information Commission, Fair Trade Promotion Agency, Belt and Road Research Institute (Shenzhen) for International Cooperation and Development, Shenzhen Outbound Alliance and Asia Pacific Daily.
Jin Wenzheng, President of Asia Pacific Daily, said it is important to use mobile internet technology to connect all players from the Belt and Road countries. He said Asia Pacific Daily’s mobile app, which has more than 7 million subscribers, can be a useful tool for people to communicate and understand policies and culture in different countries in the region.
Manoj Jain, chairman and managing partner of advisory and investment at Flat Globe Capital Partners, said there are a lot of business opportunities in China’s Belt and Road Initiative but they also come with different risks to investors. Jain said he hopes the Chinese government will take the initiative to improve governance on Belt and Road projects to ensure that private investors are well protected.
Wang Wen, Chief Economist of China Export and Credit Insurance Corp., said considerable work has to be done to improve credit insurance for exporters and investors along the Belt and Road countries.