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  1. Home

  2. About BFA

  3. Conferences & Meetings

  4. Press Center

  5. Members & Partners

  6. BFA Academy

  7. Areas of Focus

  8. Regional Cooperation

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The 2nd Asia-Europe Cooperation Dialogue Opens in Chongqing
Origin:Boao Forum for Asia      Time:2019-12-03 10:03:57    Views:236

On December 2, 2019, the 2nd Asia-Europe Cooperation Dialogue held its Opening and Plenary Session in Chongqing, which was addressed by Ban Ki-moon, Chairman of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA); Zhou Xiaochuan, Vice Chairman of the BFA; Esko Aho, former Prime Minister of Finland; Tang Liangzhi, Mayor of Chongqing; Li Baodong, Secretary General of the BFA; and Paolo Borzatta, Senior Partner of the European House-Ambrosetti. The event was also attended by more than 400 participants from 21 countries and regions as well as from three international organizations.

In his speech, Ban Ki-moon highlighted the fact that 60% of the world’s population live in Asia and Europe, whose combined GDP also represents over 60% of the world’s total. With today’s world economy challenged by protectionism, unilateralism, unstable and uncertain factors, it’s necessary to send a clear message of supporting globalization and free trade to the international community. He also expressed his hope that Asia and Europe will strengthen their traditional economic and trade ties, expand cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, increase exchanges in the fields of culture and technology innovation and take concrete actions to practice multilateralism and promote an open world economy.

Zhou Xiaochuan emphasized the need for more concerted actions from Asia and Europe—to promote trade and investment, safeguard multilateral trade systems and restore the authority and efficacy of the WTO; to improve infrastructure connectivity, so as to reduce transportation and communication costs and bring about synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative and the Strategy for “Connecting Europe and Asia”; to address the global challenge of climate change by effectively implementing the Paris Agreement, developing low-carbon economies and providing policy, technology and financial support to developing countries; and to strengthen cooperation in innovation in response to challenges created by disruptive technologies.

Tang Liangzhi highlighted Chongqing as a strategic pillar of China’s Western Development Strategy, which is located at the junction of the Belt and Road and the Yangtze River Economic Belt and seamlessly connects the Belt and the Road. Asia and Europe have become the most important trading partners for Chongqing—In the first three quarters of this year, the two continents accounted for more than 70% of the city’s international trade and contributed 60% of its FDI. He said that Chongqing is happy to host this event as an opportunity to build partnership and friendship with Asian and European countries and join hands with them to begin a journey to new accomplishments in this city that is attractive domestically and globally.

Esko Aho said that a sustainable future for mankind must be built on four foundations—a rules-based international order, which is the most important; free trade, which promotes growth, prosperity and benefits the whole world, as well as multilateralism, globalization and international cooperation; common efforts to drive technological change; and response to serious challenges created by ageing populations.  

In his welcome speech, Li Baodong stressed that Asia and Europe, as two major economic players in the world, are also important forces in safeguarding multilateralism and the international order. In today’s world, it is critical for the two continents to strengthen communication and cooperation and build more efficient connectivity and more open and inclusive economies. Deepened Asia-Europe cooperation in trade and other areas will not only benefit themselves, but will also facilitate common development around the world, thus bringing the much-needed stability to the world.

In his welcome speech, Paolo Borzatta said that the Asia-Europe Cooperation Dialogue is committed to laying a foundation for building understanding and trust among Asian and European political, business, academic and media communities, as well as for expanding Asia-Europe cooperation in various fields. The land-link between Asia and Europe will create a bright future for connectivity. The Belt and Road Initiative offers new opportunities for Asia-Europe cooperation, which has achieved tangible progress over the past six years. He also expressed his hope that the two continents will work together for a better future.  

After the end of the opening plenary, more than 400 guests and participants will have one-day discussions on topics such as “Belt and Road Initiative and European Development Strategy”, “Prospects and Challenges of Financial Globalization” and “Internet of Things & Smart City”. Asian and European business leaders will also have a closed-door meeting regarding micro-level cooperation.