Photo taken on September 8 shows workers assembling cars at a manufacturing shop of the branch of GAC Motor in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. The company has actively explored markets and sales channels in countries along the Belt and Road, and exported products to Central Asia, the Middle East and Russia. (Photo by Cai Zengle/People’s Daily Online)

By Zhang Weiyu

Chinese President Xi Jinping has recently suggested various countries work together to foster an open and inclusive environment for cooperation, to unleash the power of innovation in driving cooperation forward and to promote mutually beneficial cooperation.

These ideas Xi shared in his speech delivered at the Global Trade in Services Summit of the 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) held in Beijing on September 4 have attracted great attention from the international community.

Today, with COVID-19 yet to be brought under full control at the global level, all countries face the formidable task to defeat the virus, stabilize the economy, and protect livelihoods, Xi pointed out.

It is against such a backdrop that China decided to hold this important international trade event despite many difficulties in preparation. It shows China’s willingness to join hands with the international community in this trying time and work together to enable global trade in services to thrive and the world economy to recover at an early date.

Pursuing development against the background of rising instability and uncertainties in the world, China needs to make development plans in pursuit of openness, cooperation, and win-win results, promote more solid progress in the joint construction of the Belt and Road, and advance the building of an open world economy.

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a solid guarantee of stable overall performance of China’s foreign trade.

Domestic enterprises made non-financial direct investments of 57.1 billion yuan (about $8.44 billion) in 54 countries along the Belt and Road in the first six months of this year, up 23.8 percent year on year, suggested data from the Ministry of Commerce (MOC).

Meanwhile, Chinese enterprises secured 2,289 new contracts for foreign projects in 59 countries along the Belt and Road during the first half of the year, with the total transaction value of these contracts reaching 424.02 billion yuan, according to the MOC.

During the same period, China-Europe freight trains have played a positive role in facilitating international logistics services and given full play to its advantages in land transportation.

A total of 5,122 trips were made by the China-Europe freight trains during the first half of this year, up 36 percent year on year. These train trips have made valuable contributions to stabilizing international industrial chain and supply chain and promoting the resumption of work and production for enterprises.

The BRI serves as an important path to building an open world economy. World economy thrives in openness and withers in seclusion.

In the face of adverse economic and trade situation where world economy is in deep recession, international trade and investment have shrunk dramatically, and protectionism and unilateralism prevail in some countries, China remains steadfast in opening its door wider to the world.

In the global response to the COVID-19 epidemic, international cooperation among countries along the Belt and Road has increasingly shown its value and advantages.

In this age of economic globalization, countries share economic interdependency and intertwined interests like never before. To treat each other with sincerity and pursue shared benefits holds the key to state-to-state relations in today’s world.

The BRI has helped bring trade and investment resources to countries that need them, open up new space and explore new areas for international cooperation, and provide a new platform and way of building an open world economy.

Cooperation along the Belt and Road has injected strong impetus into world economic growth and recovery.

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19, international investment has been in turmoil and some countries with weak health infrastructure have been overwhelmed and had difficulty pursuing economic growth due to lack of capital.

Against such backdrop, the joint construction of the Belt and Road has provided an important platform for cooperation in response to the global crisis.

Under the framework of jointly building the Belt and Road, countries have promoted policy communication and economic policy coordination, provided financial support for development of epidemic-stricken projects and enterprises and strengthened the in-depth interconnection between logistics, trade, and industries, thus helping ensure the overall stability of global supply chain and logistics services for trade and bringing hope to world economic recovery.

“The sudden attack of COVID-19 may have prevented us from meeting face to face, but it cannot block the growth of trade in services. Nor will it affect our confidence and action as we pursue shared progress and mutually beneficial cooperation,” Xi noted.

The fact that all countries share common destiny and become increasingly interdependent has made it all the more important and necessary to jointly build the Belt and Road.

As long as countries join hands to enhance cooperation and promote the high-quality construction of the Belt and Road, they will certainly create favorable conditions and sound environment for global stability and prosperity.

The fifth Colorful World Cultural Exhibition of Countries Along the Belt and Road is held at the cultural services exhibition area of the 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS). (Photo/The Beijing News)

The third Belt and Road Forum for Development in Trade in Services is held at the China National Convention Center in Beijing during the 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS). (Photo/ce.cn)

Photo taken on July 9 shows a worker testing silk fabrics to be exported to countries along the Belt and Road in Huzhou Dongbo Silk Weaving Co., Ltd. in Nanxun district, Huzhou, east China’s Zhejiang province. (Photo by Zhang Bin/People’s Daily Online)

Photo taken on August 12 shows a China-Europe freight train loaded with anti-epidemic supplies leaving Xinzhu Railway Station in Xi’an, northwest China’s Shaanxi province, for Italy’s Milan. (Photo by Tang Zhenjiang/People’s Daily Online)

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