Belt and Road Forum Deals
The Third Belt and Road Forum was held on October 17-18th in Beijing, marking the 10th anniversary of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in 2013. The event was attended by representatives from over 140 countries and included the presence of 23 heads of state, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and the President of Sri Lanka, Kenya, Indonesia, Argentina, and Serbia. Notably, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, was also in attendance, illustrating the international significance of the event.
A highlight of this year’s forum was the record-breaking number of deals signed during the high-level business forum. More than 300 representatives from both Chinese and foreign companies sealed deals worth over USD 97 billion. Key trends in these agreements revolved around green and digital initiatives, encompassing fields like artificial intelligence, biomedicine, infrastructure, modern agriculture, financial services, and clean energy.
The BRI’S scope extended to Latin America, as China and Chile signed multiple bilateral cooperation agreements. These agreements covered industrial investment, technological innovation, and collaboration with small and medium-sized enterprises. An important announcement was the USD 233 million investment by China’s Tsingshan Holding Group Co. to establish a lithium plant.
The forum highlighted the collaborative efforts between China and Kazakhstan as well. Multiple bilateral cooperation documents were signed, focusing on connectivity and economic development, reinforcing the ties between these nations.
Additionally, the timely completion of the Budapest-Belgrade Railway project was emphasized, and a procurement contract was signed for five high-speed trains from China’s CRRC Changchun Railways Vehicles Co. to Serbia. This marked a historic milestone as the first time China’s high-speed train technology will be exported to Europe.
Other notable deals included China CAMC Engineering’s deal with the Nicaragua Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure for a USD 491 million airport expansion project. Moreover, China and Kazakhstan signed multiple bilateral cooperation documents, strengthening connectivity and economic development between the two nations.
Over the past decade, China has signed more than 200 cooperation agreements with over 150 countries across five continents and launched over 3,000 BRI projects. From 2013 to 2022, the initiative witnessed a cumulative trade value of USD 19.1 trillion. Bilateral investments reached approximately USD 380 billion, and by 2022, China’s investments in other BRI countries reached USD 309 billion.
In summary, the Third Belt and Road Forum showcased the initiative’s global impact. With deals and agreements across a wide range of sectors, this initiative continues to be a driving force for international cooperation and economic development.