On the afternoon of April 25, the Thematic Forum on Silk Road of Innovation of the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation was held at China National Convention Center in Beijing. With the theme of collaborative innovation for a shared future, the thematic forum was sponsored by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (MOST) and co-sponsored by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Chinese Academy of Engineering and the China Association for Science and Technology. Minister Wang Zhigang of MOST attended the meeting and made a keynote speech.
Minister Wang Zhigang pointed out that since President Xi Jinping proposed the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and announced the launch of the Belt and Road Science, Technology and Innovation Cooperation Action Plan in particular, MOST has conscientiously implemented the Action Plan, focusing on the four components, including Science and Technology People-to-People Exchange, Joint Laboratory Establishment, Science Park Cooperation and Technology Transfer. Thanks to the unwavering efforts of BRI participating countries, fruitful results have been achieved. He noted that the inauguration of the Thematic Forum on the Silk Road of Innovation at the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation aims to adapt to the general trend of globalization and open cooperation and give full play to the key role of science, technology and innovation in delivering on the BRI and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Minister Wang Zhigang stressed that China is not only a participant and beneficiary of the globalization of science and technology, but also a contributor to and a leader in wider innovation cooperation. He remarked that strengthening cooperation in innovation for mutual benefit is an important strategic fulcrum for the future development of science and technology in China, and that building the Belt and Road into a road of innovation is a concrete action for China to expand the opening up of science and technology to the outside world and share the fruit of innovation with other countries. Minister Wang Zhigang also made four suggestions for further promoting cooperation in science, technology and innovation along the Belt and Road: 1. remain committed to expanding opening up and building a science and technology vision together; 2. adhere to the spirit of partnership and strengthen dialogue and exchanges; 3. adhere to the forward-looking layout and tap the growth momentum; and 4. adhere to inclusive sharing and promote the improvement of people‘s livelihood. Minister Wang Zhigang called for efforts to accurately connect the development needs of various countries, widely pool innovation resources, strengthen pragmatic exchanges and cooperation, and elevate the building of a road of innovation along the Belt and Road to a higher level. He said that the joint launch of the Cooperation Initiative on Silk Road of Innovation by the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology and the relevant parties is an important measure to further promote cooperation in science, technology and innovation along the Belt and Road.
In his speech at the opening ceremony, Director-General Francis Gurry of the World Intellectual Property Organization elaborated on the importance of intellectual property protection for enhancing innovation capacity and building a favorable environment for innovation. President Bai Chunli of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, President Li Xiaohong of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, Huai Jinpeng, Executive Vice-President and First Secretary of the Secretariat of the China Association for Science and Technology, Secretary for Innovation and Technology Nicholas W. Yang of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, Minister of Research, Technology and Higher Education Mohamad Nasir of the Republic of Indonesia, and Minister of Economic Development and Technology Zdravko Počivalšek of Slovenia, Minister of Innovational Development Ibrahim Abdurakhmanov of Uzbekistan made speeches at the opening ceremony.
In the keynote speech session, more than 20 representatives from the government departments, research institutes, think tanks and enterprises of over ten countries which co-build the Belt and Road shared their successful experience and typical cases of cooperation in science, technology and innovation. Maksat Tashbolotov, State Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Industry and Amelioration of Kyrgyzstan, and Zhang Jianguo, Vice Minister of Science and Technology and Administrator of the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs of China made concluding speeches of the forum.
Nearly 150 Chinese and foreign delegates from 33 countries, regions and international organizations participated in the Thematic Forum on Silk Road of Innovation. Through pragmatic and efficient exchanges, the participants worked on the development directions and realization paths of the Silk Road of Innovation, shared their cooperation experience, explored a cooperation vision, discussed cooperation initiatives, put forward many valuable views, opinions and suggestions, and formed important consensus.