by Dr. Sebastien Goulard
From April 18 to 21, was held in Boao, Hainan province the Boao Forum for Asia, a major rendez-vous for many political and business leaders operating in Asia. This event was held both online and offline.
Launched in 2001, the Boao Forum for Asia has become the Asian Davos.
Cooperation of the Belt and Road Initiative was one of the 6 key themes developed during the conference (with “Understanding China” , “Keeping pace with global change”, “In the context of industrial transformation”, “New technologies for all” and “Mutually beneficial development”).
The BRI in the post-Covid19 world
At the opening ceremony of the forum, President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech via video. In his speech, he stressed that the Belt and Road Initiative was an open programme that every country may join in. Xi Jinping announced that China would continue to promote high-quality “Belt and Road” cooperation in the health sector (with joint vaccine production in several countries) and in the e-commerce. He also pledged for a greener BRI with more cooperation in green finance, energies and infrastructure. This will be done by limiting investment in high-carbon assets, as announced by China’s central bank governor Yi Gang.
President Xi Jinping also argued that the BRI could help lift millions of people from poverty, with better infrastructure and more inclusive projects.
An open world
For China, the post Covid19 economic recovery will need less frontiers and more trade. Investment and regional integration will become key priorities for countries to create economic growth. This objective can be achieved with the BRI that not only build new infrastructure but also promote free trade.
A China-driven (world) economy
In the post Covid19 world, the BRI is to grow as there will be a demand for more investment in the countries that have suffered the most from the crisis. China with the BRI will be able to answer this demand.
Countries are increasingly aware that in the health sector as in other sectors, cooperation and multilateralism are prerequisite for recovery.