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State councilor urges strengthened cooperation along Belt and Road

By Huang Zhiling | | Updated: 2016-11-03 15:51

Countries and regions along the Belt and Road are urged to strengthen cooperation in infrastructure construction, energy resource development, finance, education, science, technology, tourism and medical care, said State Councilor Wang Yong.

Construction of infrastructural facilities will facilitate connections between the countries and regions while education, science, technology, tourism and medical care concern people's livelihoods and are the foundation for the construction of the Belt and Road, Wang said.

He made the remarks in his keynote speech delivered today at the 8th West China International Cooperation Forum in Chengdu, Sichuan province, which is being held under the theme of jointly building the Belt and Road for a bright future.

The Belt and Road Initiative, which comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, was put forward by President Xi Jinping in 2013.

Since then, more than 30 countries have signed agreements with China to cooperate in the construction of the Belt and Road.

The Belt and Road connects 64 countries and 4.5 billion people in the world. The initiative not only involves economy but also boosts cultural and social exchange in different civilizations, said Mohammad Sarwar Danesh, second vice president of Afghanistan.

His country, which boasts more than $3 trillion worth of mineral resources, fully endorses the Belt and Road initiative, he said.

Afghanistan abounds in iron and copper ore, gemstones and stones for decoration. China can invest in the fields and Afghanistan can sell its products to China, he said.

Milorad Dodik, president of the Serb Republic, said his country has cooperated with China in the construction of the Belt and Road. With investment from China, construction of a thermal power station started in the Serb Republic last month.

The main contract for the station is with Dongfang Electric, a State-owned firm headquartered in Chengdu, the president said.

The project has created more than 1,000 jobs in the Serb Republic and it is the largest direct foreign investment the country has received in recent years, he said.

It is only the beginning of the cooperation, he said. At the end of this year, a Confucius Institute will be launched in his country.

The 8th West China International Cooperation Forum is part of the 16th Western China Economic Fair being held in Chengdu from today to Nov 14.

Nearly 9,000 firms from 75 countries and regions are attending the fair, including some of the world's leading firms, such as Daimler, METRO and DHL.

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