Digital Silk Road development enables connectivity, prosperity

With the theme of "Connectivity and Shared Prosperity," the World Internet Conference (WIC) Digital Silk Road Development Forum was held on Tuesday in Xi'an, the capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province.

With the theme of “Connectivity and Shared Prosperity,” the World Internet Conference (WIC) Digital Silk Road Development Forum was held on Tuesday in Xi’an, the capital of northwest China’s Shaanxi Province.

The forum delved into such topics as digital connectivity, Silk Road cooperation, international Silk Road e-commerce cooperation, digital villages and sustainable development.

Wang Yong, vice chairman of the 14th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, said that the Chinese government is willing to work with all parties to promote the construction of the Digital Silk Road and share the dividends of digital economic development.

He said that to bring the construction of a cyberspace community with a shared future to a new stage, China also hopes to deepen cooperation on digital technology innovation, strengthen digital cultural exchanges and mutual understanding, and work with all parties to create a set of digital governance rules.

By October 2023, China had signed memoranda of understanding on e-commerce cooperation and established bilateral e-commerce cooperation mechanisms with 30 countries.

Li Qingshuang, vice chairperson of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, said that Silk Road e-commerce has demonstrated strong resilience and vitality, becoming a defining feature of high-quality Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) cooperation.

Li Junhua, UN under-secretary-general for economic and social affairs, said the Digital Silk Road is an essential part of the BRI. It has played an important role over the past decade in improving digital connectivity, bridging the digital divide and advancing sustainable development, among other tasks, he noted.

Zhao Houlin, former secretary-general of the International Telecommunication Union, called on multiple parties to collaborate on eliminating digital poverty and the digital divide. He said that making better use of technologies such as 5G, big data and artificial intelligence is important to more effectively bridge divides.

Monthip Sriratana, director of the Digital Belt and Road International Center of Excellence in Bangkok, said that cooperation on the construction of the Digital Belt and Road is of great significance to improving the digital capabilities of all nations, harnessing the benefits of technology, and promoting common development in terms of connectivity and shared prosperity.

Nii Quaynor, chairman of Ghana Dot Com, said that the Digital Silk Road can enable opportunities for cooperation to better position the global south with regard to Internet development.

The forum attracted participants from nearly 50 countries and regions around the world, and saw the release of a report outlining cross-border e-commerce practices.

For more information, visit: China’s Belt and Road


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