On May 14th, the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation was inaugurated at China National Convention Center. Chinese President Xi Jinping attended the ceremony and delivered the keynote speech titled “Work Together to Build the Silk Road Economic Belt and The 21st Century Maritime Silk Road”. Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli presided over the opening ceremony.
President Xi said that these four years have seen enhanced infrastructure connectivity. Building roads and railways creates prosperity in all sectors. We have accelerated the building of Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway, China-Laos railway, Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway and Hungary-Serbia railway, and upgraded Gwadar and Piraeus ports in cooperation with relevant countries. A large number of connectivity projects are also in the pipeline. Today, a multi-dimensional infrastructure network is taking shape, one that is underpinned by economic corridors such as China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor and the New Eurasian Continental Bridge, featuring land-sea-air transportation routes and information expressway and supported by major railway, port and pipeline projects.
Capt. Xu Lirong, Chairman of the Board and Party Secretary of COSCO SHIPPING attended the opening ceremony and a high-level plenary session on May 14th. Capt. Xu also attended the Thematic Session on Infrastructure Connectivity on the same day, during which he was interviewed by media such as CCTV, Xinhua News Agency, CNR and IFNG.
Capt. Xu said, “The output value of logistics business in Port of Piraeus has jumped from around 1 billion EURO to 2.5 billion EURO in recent years. Growth of economic output certainly helps create jobs. Our investment in Greece, for instance, has created over 10,000 local jobs. I think the Belt and Road Initiative is very well-advised. It not only promotes international cooperation, but also drives economic, social, and cultural development in local communities.
Yu Zenggang, Executive Vice President of COSCO SHIPPING, attended the Thematic Session on People-to-people Connectivity, during which Tassos Vamvakidis from Piraeus Container Terminal S.A. shared a story named Children of Piraeus. He said that COSCO SHIPPING has brought enormous changes to Piraeus; he also shared his experience on working together with Chinese colleagues.
Initiated and hosted by China, the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation is the largest and highest-level international conference under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative. About 1,500 representatives from over 130 countries and 70 international organizations, including 29 foreign Heads of State and Government attended the forum.
Huang Xiaowen, Executive Vice President of COSCO SHIPPING, was interviewed by CCTV News Channel at CCTV’s studio on the afternoon of May 14th, during which he introduced the overall picture of COSCO SHIPPING’s participation in the “21st Century Maritime Silk Road”.
According to Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who is here attending the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse on May 13th.
President Xi Jinping emphasized that Greece’s strategy of becoming a major international logistics transit hub matches with the Belt and Road Initiative. China and Greece should work to build Port of Piraeus into a major container transshipment hub, a key point for sea-and-rail intermodal transportation, and an international logistics distribution center in the Mediterranean region. Port of Piraeus should also contribute more to the construction of China-Europe Land-Sea Express Route and the Belt and Road, so as to enhance practical cooperation between China and Greece in areas such as infrastructure construction, energy, telecommunications and ocean, and bring more benefits to people of the two countries.
Prime Minister Tsipras said that both Greece and China are countries with ancient civilization. Under the new situation, both countries should enhance cooperation in a wide range of areas such as economy, investment, finance, energy, agriculture and new technology, and well develop the project of Port of Piraeus. Greece is glad to participate in the building of the Belt and Road, and thinks the initiative is far-sighted and significant as it can facilitate the connectivity of economy and trade, energy, transportation and network in Eurasian continent. Greece is willing to promote China-Central and Eastern Europe, and China-Europe cooperation.