Former Prime Minister of Egypt Essam Sharaf: The link between China and the world is Belt and Road Initiative


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Former Prime Minister of Egypt Essam Sharaf: The link between China and the world is Belt and Road Initiative


Ladies and gentlemen, dear participants, it’s a great pleasure to be with you today. Good morning, good afternoon and good evening.

Let me share with you my presentation. My presentation of the speech today is Belt and Road Initiative, and important part of the 14th Five Year Plan (2021-2025).

Briefly, the 14th FYP is building on successes of previous plans, and also it is responding to current and anticipated challenges both in domestic and global levels. And also an important item in this plan is what’s called Dual Circulation Development Pattern. This is the key.

Dual circulation development means economic development pattern that takes domestic development as the mainstay, with domestic and international development reinforcing each other. Increasing their force to have stronger domestic economy, actually will lead to China would turn self into gravitational field that attracts the world’s high-quality factories and resources and a fertile ground of foreign investment by building a market-oriented, rule-based, and international business environment. This is the words of President Xi about that.

People said that China is concentred in the national economy, national market, and maybe give a little bit less importance to the external, and this is actually completely wrong. Let me talk about that.

In the wording of the plan, there is a new type of international cooperation, of course, the link between China and the world is Belt and Road Initiative, which is based on multilateralism, and the concept of Shared Future of Mankind. For the global development actually, and the circulation between national and international development is connectivity, both hard and soft.

Why Connectivity?Because we are connected and we should remain connected. So by hard and soft connectivity,we can develop high quality cooperation. Of course, these high quality cooperation will leads to development, cooperation of new types of cooperation is based on cooperation pillars, cooperation platforms and cooperation initiatives. Let me talk about that.

First, Cooperation Pillars is the most important. Cooperation Pillars, as mentioned in Joint Communique of Leaders’ Roundtable of the 2nd BRF in 2019 is based on the spirit of multilateralism: extensive consultation, joint efforts and shared benefits, this is the real cooperation, the global cooperation should be based on this figure.

Second, Cooperation Platforms, platforms is the way how people would inter exchange. The first and the most important one is the Belt and Road Forum, which is actually the highest and most comprehensive cooperation platform. We had two meetings so far: the first one in 2017 and the second one in 2019. Also, there’s multilateral sectoral cooperation platforms, for example, railways, ports, energy, finance, tax, environment, media, think tanks and so forth. There are actually more than 20 sectoral cooperation platforms, and each one of them has its own documents and laws of cooperation. Also there are regional dialogues: like China-Africa, China-Caribbean, China Arab Countries, China-Europe, China-Latin American countries, and China-Oceania countries. So, all of these are actually platforms that ensure high quality cooperation.

The third one is cooperation initiatives. There are five initiatives would be mentioned in the second BRF: Green Silk Road, Digital Silk Road, Clean Silk Road, Health Silk Road and Innovation Silk Road.

Finally, I would like to say that under BRI, global high-quality cooperation,connected through new cooperation pillars, cooperation platforms and cooperation initiatives. Then we can have BRI Global High-Quality Development. And this is the whole issue.

Thank you very much.

Essam Sharaf is former prime minister of Egypt and a non-resident senior fellow of the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China.

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