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East Asia marine forum deepens regional ties

By Song Mengxing | China Daily | Updated: 2017-09-14 07:32

 East Asia marine forum deepens regional ties

The forum attracts more than 500 visitors from 38 countries and regions including Japan, South Korea and those from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. ding Libin / For China Daily

Held in Qingdao, Shandong province, the platform works to promote communication and cooperation among China and nearby countries

The East Asia Marine Cooperation Platform Huangdao Forum plays a major role in communication and cooperation between Qingdao and other East Asian regions regarding industry and commerce, ports and maritime engineering, and culture, the forum's organizers said.

The 2017 forum, which took place on Sept 7 and 8, attracted more than 500 guests from 38 countries and regions including Japan, South Korea and those from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Among its eight activities were a main forum, an East Asian culture and art exhibition, an East Asian commodity fair, an international ship and marine engineering conference, and an East Asian marine summit forum.

The activities covered five fields - the ocean industry, commerce and trade, science and technology, culture and art, and educational cooperation for professionals.

The East Asia Arts Development Forum, hosted by the China Central Academy of Fine Arts, discussed urban art design and cultural cooperation. At the East Asia Business Leaders Summit, more than 60 industrial and commercial leaders, as well as noted scholars largely discussed two topics - the Belt and Road Initiative, economic upgrading and development, and also the real economy against the backdrop of globalization.

More than 100 keynote speeches and dialogues were delivered at the 2017 forum, including those by 30 senior executives from noted companies.

The event's organizers said the forum has had a strong international influence. The international ship and marine engineering conference plays a leading role in international marine engineering and ship manufacturing innovation, they said.

The East Asia Arts Development Forum attracted artists from colleges in the United Kingdom and Japan, and organizations that are influential in East Asia and even in the world.

This year's forum has seen fruitful results, its organizers said. They added that a related think tank has now been set up.

The East Asia Business Leaders Summit conferred the title of Special Experts of the East Asia Marine Cooperation Platform on several experts, scholars and businesspeople. They will, based on their research fields, aid the development of the platform.

Two organizations have been established at the forum. One of them was an East Asia shipping development research institute, launched at the East Asia Seaport Alliance Assembly.

Seven agreements have been signed at the 2017 forum. The Pacific Society of China signed a Sino-Thailand marine education and culture cooperation agreement with a marine science association from Thailand. Four sister school agreements were also made at the forum.

The forum was hosted in the Qingdao West Coast New Area, the ninth national-level new area approved by the State Council on June 3, 2014.

Li Fengli, director of the area's administrative committee, said that developing the East Asia Marine Cooperation Platform is the area's responsibility and opportunity. East Asia marine forum deepens regional ties


"We will deepen communication and cooperation with all parties, to promote harmonious development of the East Asian marine sector and to contribute to the construction of the Belt and Road," Li said.

The new area administers the whole Huangdao district, covering a land area of 2,127 square kilometers and a sea area of 5,000 sq km.

It has a population of 1.84 million and the area's GDP in 2016 reached 287.1 billion yuan ($43.97 billion).

The new area hosted the first Huangdao forum and launched the East Asia Marine Cooperation Platform last year. The forum and platform play important roles in Qingdao's and the new area's integration into the Belt and Road Initiative, and also in their communication and cooperation with ASEAN members.

The Huangdao forum is helping the platform's development and has formed a new mechanism of broad participation from industrial and commercial leaders, representatives from the port and shipping fields, and cultural and educational groups, the event's organizers said.

It has opened a new channel for connection and cooperation among countries and regions from East Asia and ASEAN, they said.

(China Daily 09/14/2017 page7)

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