China says that 28 governments so far have confirmed they will attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) in Beijing in May, with the attendees including President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia.
They will be joined by United Nations Secretary General António Guterres, president of the World Bank Jim Yong Kim, and International Monetary Fund Director Christine Lagard. In all, more than 1,200 scholars, officials, media representatives and others from 110 countries and 61 international organizations have planned their participation to date.
Speaking at a press conference, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Deputy Director of the National Development and Reform Commission Wang Xiaotao said the May 14-15 gathering is the highest level of international conference since Chinese President Xi Jinping first focused on China’s Silk Road initiative.
“Facing challenges, we need to pool ideas and talents to build new cooperation platforms, cultivate new growth impetus and explore new development paths together,” Wang said.
The main events of the forum include an opening ceremony, a leaders’ roundtable summit and a high-level conference. It is expected that China will negotiate and sign cooperation documents with nearly 20 countries and over 20 international organizations, identifying opportunities and putting forward new projects.
Spheres for those discussions include: infrastructure, industry investment, economic and trade cooperation, energy and resources, financial cooperation, and cultural exchanges.
The theme of the forum is “Strengthening International Cooperation and Co-building the ‘Belt and Road’ for Win-win Development.”
Image: PRC Ministry of Foreign Affairs