Proposals to Promote the Belt and Road Initiative
原载《Journal of WTO and China》2018年第8期
Abstract: In the past four years, the Belt and Road Initiative has made great achievements. In the next phase, the priority of the Initiative will shift from consensus forming to implementation, such as strategic matching, construction planning, action programs, free trade network system building, international production capacity cooperation, interconnected networks construction, implementation mechanism improving, and reinforcing think tank cooperation. Countries along the Belt and Road should work together to deliver mutual benefits and win-win results so as to enable the Belt and Road Initiative to make further progress and harvest its early achievements.
Keywords: Belt and Road Initiative, One Belt One Road, proposals of B&R
1. Countries along the Belt and Road should begin jointly formulating Belt and Road construction and action plans so as to showcase demonstration projects as soon as possible.
China should start formulating construction and action plans together with the countries along the Belt and Road to match with their national development strategies, plans and projects. China should sign lots of memorandums of understanding to B&R cooperation, develop a project database and form mechanism for implementing major projects on a rolling basis, so as to harvest achievements from a number of projects as soon as possible.
- Match national development strategies and development plans with the countries along the Belt and Road and other relevant countries. In addition to China's Belt and Road Initiative, countries along the Belt and Road and other relevant countries have also proposed their own versions of the regional economic cooperation plan, such as the EU’s Juncker Plan, Russia’s Eurasian Union, Britain’s Northern Powerhouse program, India’s Project Mausam, Pakistan’s Vision 2025, Mongolia’s Prairie Road, the Bright Road of Kazakhstan, the Middle Corridor program of Turkey, Poland’s Amber Road, Indonesia’s Global Maritime Fulcrum, Saudi Arabia’s 2030 Vision, and Australia’s Northern Development program. These plans are similar to the Belt and Road Initiative, and can support and complement each other. In the future, relevant countries should make efforts to match these plans with the Belt and Road Initiative in order to move towards unified and mutually agreed goals, form common strategies and policy options, and build a stronger “Community of Common Destiny.”
- Jointly start formulating the Belt and Road Initiative construction and action plans. The Belt and Road Initiative is a huge and complex engineering project. In order for progress to be made in a reasonable and orderly manner, plans must be made first. Countries along the Belt and Road should start formulating their master plans for the initiative. The planning should adhere to the principle of finding common ground while preserving differences, respecting the opinions and proposals from each country, solving differences through communication and coordination, making a clear distinction between rights and responsibilities, and allocating tasks clearly. Major investment and construction projects should have clear instructions on contractors, construction periods, and investment methods. It is important to make orderly progress; promote a number of major projects related to key channels, nodes, and areas; and showcase examples of success. According to the overall plan of the Belt and Road Initiative, countries along the Belt and Road should develop specific plans for transportation, energy, finance, science and technology, culture, and other areas, and continuously enrich and refine their content. Based on the master plan and specific plans, countries along the Belt and Road should formulate action plans to clearly put forth an implementation timetable and roadmap. A dynamic assessment mechanism for the master plan, specific plans, and action plans should be developed to evaluate the progress of the implementation in order to learn from the experience, identify problems, and make revisions and adjustments.
-Build a key project database for the Belt and Road Initiative. Key projects are an important component of the Belt and Road Initiative. Countries along the Belt and Road should build a key project database that includes major projects in transportation, energy, communication, culture, people`s livelihood, international aid, and international production capacity cooperation. It can serve as a catalog for project selection. The project database has a proposing mechanism. Countries along the Belt and Road can individually or jointly submit proposals for major projects. The projects will be added into the database through preliminary assessments and scientific evaluations by professional institutions. Projects in the database should be prioritized in the Belt and Road Initiative, which will be open to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the Silk Road Fund, and other national policy financial institutions in relevant countries. The policy funds will give priority to the projects in the database. The key projects will be implemented on a rolling basis, which means some projects will be started, some will be planned, and some will be approved. Adjustments are made annually. Evaluations should be carried out regularly on the progress as well as the economic and social benefits of the projects. Projects that repeatedly fail in evaluations should be removed from the project database.
- Sign a number of the Belt and Road Initiative’s cooperation agreements or memorandums with relevant countries as soon as possible. In order to further promote the Belt and Road Initiative, countries along the Belt and Road should further strengthen bilateral cooperation and multi-level and multi-channel communication. Countries and international organizations with a strong willingness to cooperate should actively sign cooperation agreements or memorandums and draft documents on coordinating plans, building major projects, and carrying out international exchanges. Key projects that are well received by all parties and shovel-ready should be implemented immediately so that they can serve as examples and benchmarks for other projects. China should consult with the countries along the Belt and Road and international organizations, sign agreements or memorandums related to the Belt and Road Initiative, and take the initiative to build demonstration projects to guide other countries, accumulate experience, and reap the fruits of success.
2. Countries along the Belt and Road should jointly promote the construction of the Belt and Road free trade network system to further advance economic globalization and regional integration.
It has been almost ten years since the global financial crisis broke out. However, the world economy is not yet in the clear. The traditional growth model is unsustainable, but there is not a new growth momentum yet and global economic growth is weak. At the same time, the rise of global trade protectionism, increasingly intense trade frictions, as well as isolationist and beggar-thy-neighbor economic policies have added great uncertainty to the already fragile global economy. Countries along the Belt and Road are important participants in global economic cooperation. By embracing historical development trends, they can jointly promote the construction of the Belt and Road free trade system and actively promote economic globalization and regional integration. This will give new impetus to global economic growth.
- Accelerate the construction of bilateral and multilateral free trade zones along the Belt and Road. A number of bilateral free trade zones, such as the EU, ASEAN, China-ASEAN, China-Switzerland, China-Singapore, and China-Pakistan, have played an important role in promoting economic cooperation and development along the Belt and Road. In addition, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the upgraded China-ASEAN Free Trade Area, China-Europe BIT, China-GCC Free Trade Area, China-Pakistan Free Trade Zone Phase II, China-Sri Lanka, China-Israel, and a number of FTA negotiations are also well underway. Countries along the Belt and Road should actively promote the construction of various types of bilateral free trade areas. Agreements that have been signed and implemented can be upgraded to meet national conditions and the increasing demands of openness. Efforts should be made to speed up the negotiation process for FTA agreements currently under discussion. If necessary, new rules and innovations can be considered in the negotiation process so as to reach consensus early and obtain results. These countries should jointly carry out a number of new bilateral negotiations to promote the construction of free trade zones with their major economic and trade partners. Countries along the Belt and Road should also actively build free trade areas with countries both inside and outside the region, such as the Asia-Pacific Free Trade Area (FTAAP).
- Partner with Chinese cities or regions to construct free trade development zones. To date, China has built pilot free trade zones in Shanghai, Guangdong, Fujian, and Tianjin with promising results, and has gained rich experience in managing an open economy. Based on their own national conditions, countries along the Belt and Road are welcomed to carry out pilot projects in selected industrial parks, development zones, and special areas in China so as to implement high-standard free trade rules and negative list investment management, and build a new open platform. It is greatly important for countries to gradually explore the open model that suits them and enhance the management of an open economy. China is willing to share its experience in the pilot free trade zones with countries along the Belt and Road, and countries are welcome to research pilot free trade zones in China.
- Jointly build the Belt and Road Free Trade Zone. Based on bilateral and multilateral free trade zones that have already been built and will be built, countries along the Belt and Road should further integrate their mechanisms and establish the Belt and Road Free Trade Zone. All countries along the Belt and Road should participate, and the Zone should be based on the framework of WTO, but with higher standards and closer cooperation. Taking into account the different stages of development in these countries and the level of acceptance of high-standard economic rules, the Free Trade Zone can start from at an initial level and gradually improve its standards so as to ultimately build the world's largest free trade zone with the highest standards. At the same time, countries from outside the region are also welcome to join the negotiations and construction of the Belt and Road Free Trade Zone so as to further promote the economic integration process.
3. Countries along the Belt and Road should jointly promote Belt and Road international production capacity cooperation in response to a new wave of global industry transfer.
Since the Industrial Revolution, the world economy has experienced multiple waves of industry transfer. The global manufacturing industry shifted from the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, in Europe, to North America. Since World War II, it has shifted again to East Asia, especially to China. China has become the world's largest manufacturing powerhouse and the so-called "Global Factory." With the increase in China’s development, changes in its demand structure, and the improvements in its industrial structure, some industries in China are now shifting along the Belt and Road to Southeast Asia, South Asia, Africa, and other regions. A new round of transfer of global industries is currently unfolding. Countries along the Belt and Road should follow this economic law and development trend and jointly carry out international production capacity cooperation, based on their respective comparative advantages, to build a new industrial division of labor system and reconstruct the industrial chain, value chain, supply chain, and service chain along the Belt and Road.
- Build a new industrial system with integrated national resources and complementary advantages. Countries along the Belt and Road differ in national conditions and production factors. Their comparative advantages vary greatly. Currently, these differences are mainly reflected in the trade of finished products between countries along the Belt and Road. Deep integration of national industrial chains has not yet taken place. Countries should take the following measures to strengthen the integration of all aspects of their industrial chains: embrace the transfer of industries from other countries along the Belt and Road; promote the transfer of local industrial or production processes that do not provide advantages to other countries along the Belt and Road; increase their share of intermediate goods in total trade; and build a new industrial division of labor system based on respective relative advantages. Countries should further work to reconstruct the Belt and Road industrial, value, supply, and service chains to build an inclusive economic development model based on the principles of joint construction, win-win, and sharing.
- Jointly build cross-border economic and trade cooperation zones. To date, China has established 56 cross-border economic and trade cooperation zones with countries along the Belt and Road. The cooperation involves various fields such as processing and manufacturing, resources and energy, trade and logistics, science and technology, and culture. It has been proven that cross-border economic and trade zones play an important role in promoting cross-border investment. China is willing to cooperate with countries along the Belt and Road to build more cross-border economic and trade cooperation zones by running industrial parks, integrating various factors of production, and building industrial cooperation platforms. These actions will attract investment from global companies and build a number of international industrial centers with international competitiveness. Along with these measures, countries and regions along the Belt and Road should continue to carry out mutually beneficial cooperation.
- Jointly develop third-party markets. Working with countries along the Belt and Road to develop third-party markets will not only help the participating countries to develop their complementary advantages and expand their economic and trade markets, but will also help the third-party countries enhance their level of development. It is a win-win outcome that benefits all parties. Countries on both ends of the Belt and Road in East Asia and Europe are relatively developed in their economies, while countries between are lagging behind in their economic development. China is willing to work with European countries to take the lead in developing third-party markets in Central Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, promoting the flow of factors such as capital, technology, talents, and equipment to these areas, and helping the Belt and Road interior countries enhance their economic development.
- Jointly adapt to, participate in, and lead the new economic revolution in the information age. With the emergence and maturing of the Internet, Internet of Things, big data, cloud computing, block chains, and other new technologies, new business models based on information have emerged. The integration of information into traditional industries has completely disrupted some traditional economic models. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is coming. Countries along the Belt and Road should jointly carry out systematic research on new technologies, new economy, and new business models; jointly establish a new economic regulatory model and guiding policies; create new economic rules and standards; and construct the "Cyber Silk Road," the "Information Silk Road," and the "Data Silk Road" so as to adapt to, participate in, and lead the new economic revolution in the information age.
4. Countries along the Belt and Road should improve regional interconnectivity to form a comprehensive, multi-level, and complex interconnected network.
The key to the Belt and Road Initiative is connectivity of all the countries and regions along the Belt and Road. The countries along the Belt and Road should work together to enhance connectivity in the fields of transportation, finance, energy, information, and culture to create a comprehensive, multi-level, and complex interconnected network; replace the so-called “isolated island economy” produced by de-globalization with connectivity; and reshape global interconnectivity.
- Belt and Road countries should jointly create an interconnected transport network system.
Transportation infrastructure is the main priority of the Belt and Road Initiative. Countries along the Belt and Road should actively promote transport infrastructure interconnectivity; focus on key channels, nodes, and projects; fill the gaps and remove bottlenecks; increase accessibility; and build an integrated transport network linking internal and external routes. Countries along the Belt and Road should jointly promote the construction of the "Land Silk Road." They should focus on building inland ports, expanding high-speed rail and international rail transport corridors, building the "China Railway Express" brand, and promoting the construction of a Pan-Asian, Middle Asia, and Eurasian high-speed rail. They should jointly promote the construction of the "Maritime Silk Road" and open up and expand key marine routes with the construction of key ports in order to construct an international maritime transport channel. Countries along the Belt and Road should jointly promote the construction of the "Aerial Silk Road," award the "Fifth Freedom" to the countries along the Belt and Road so that they can further enhance the China-Europe and China-Southeast Asia aviation networks, and increase aerial connectivity between China and South Asia. In addition, the implementation of the China-Africa Regional Aviation Cooperation Program, will form an aerial network that covers the continents of Asia and Africa. Countries along the Belt and Road should jointly promote the streamlining of railway and highway traffic standards to facilitate international transport.
- Create an interconnected financial network for the Belt and Road Initiative. Finance is an important component of the Belt and Road Initiative. Countries along the Belt and Road must carry out in-depth financial cooperation, make existing funds more liquid, optimize their support structure, and use innovate approaches to provide financial support for the Belt and Road Initiative in the long-term. Financial institutions such as the AIIB, BRICS Development Bank, China-ASEAN Banking Consortium, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Banking Consortium, national development banks, policy banks, and commercial banks as well as bilateral and multilateral funds such as the Silk Road Fund, the China-ASEAN Maritime Cooperation Fund, the Asia Regional Cooperation Special Fund, the China-UAE Investment Cooperation Fund, the China-Central and Eastern Europe Investment Cooperation Fund, the China-Eurasia Economic Cooperation Fund, and the China-Africa Fund can play important roles. Countries along the Belt and Road should enhance cooperation with the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Asian Development Bank, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, as well as other international financial institutions. They should push for the opening and development of national bond markets, support governments and highly rated companies along the Belt and Road to issue bonds in other countries, and encourage countries along the Belt and Road to issue "Silk Road Bonds" globally to raise funds for the Belt and Road projects. These countries need to build a stable monetary system and expand the scope and scale of bilateral local currency swaps and settlements. China is willing to establish more offshore renminbi (RMB) centers along the Belt and Road, introduce more RMB investment products, and sign more bilateral local currency swaps and settlement agreements with countries along the Belt and Road. Countries along the Belt and Road should actively build a cross-regional credit system; strengthen cross-border exchanges and cooperation between credit management departments, credit bureaus and credit rating agencies; enhance the existing credit rating systems; conduct research on how to establish credit rating systems and standards that are consistent with regional characteristics; and gradually establish an objective, fair, reasonable, and balanced credit system for the Belt and Road Initiative.
- Jointly create a stable, interconnected energy network for the Belt and Road Initiative. The regions along the Belt and Road are extremely rich in energy reserves. They are also the world's major energy consumption markets. The world's major energy supply and demand is mostly concentrated in the Belt and Road countries. These countries should strengthen energy cooperation and set up a Belt and Road Energy Club, build a commodity energy products trading platform, establish a stable relationship between supply and demand, and control the pricing of global energy products so as to avoid losses incurred on suppliers and consumers during significant price fluctuations. Countries along the Belt and Road should promote the exploration and development of energy resources; the construction of a number of oil and gas exploration, development, and processing cooperation zones and demonstration areas; and form vertically integrated industrial chains for energy resource cooperation. Countries along the Belt and Road should strengthen the construction of the energy Internet. They may consider building a number of thermal power plants, hydropower plants, nuclear power stations, solar farms, and wind farms to promote energy cooperation between China, Central Asia, and West Asia; speed up the construction of the China-Russia natural gas pipeline and enhance its capacity; promote cross-border power grid construction between China, Russia, Southeast Asia, and Central Asia; speed up the pace of interconnectivity; and build the "Oil and Gas Silk Road," "Electric Power Silk Road," and "Green Energy Silk Road."
- Build a secure interconnected information network for the Belt and Road Initiative. Information is an important production factor in economic activities. The Belt and Road Initiative has placed information in a prominent position. Countries along the Belt and Road should take advantage of the development of information technology to accelerate the construction of information infrastructure along the Belt and Road; build and upgrade cross-border cables between China, Central Asia and ASEAN; plan and build China-Indian Ocean-European cross-border cables and connect them to intercontinental submarine cables; improve the aerial (satellite) information channel along the Belt and Road; and increase the interconnectivity of international communication systems. These countries should choose suitable sites to build a number of large international data centers, information platforms, and information hubs to build strong information and data exchange capacity, routing capacity, computing power, and storage capacity. High-speed and low-cost international communication and Internet services must be provided. Countries along the Belt and Road should jointly build and improve the international information security management system, strengthen the legal system that governs cyberspace, and establish a multilateral, democratic, transparent, and secure information governance system.
- Create an interconnected cultural network for the Belt and Road Initiative. Countries along the Belt and Road have produced diverse civilizations throughout history, and a colorful Silk Road culture has been formed through exchanges among these countries. Today's world is diversified and multipolar, and different countries have chosen different social systems and development paths based on their historical traditions, cultural heritage, and religious beliefs, forming a variety of modern civilizations. Countries along the Belt and Road should carry on the spirit of the ancient Silk Road to further strengthen cultural exchanges and cooperation so as to create a new civilization. These countries should jointly develop a number of Belt and Road-branded cultural exchange programs and carry out in-depth cooperation in culture,the arts, science, education, religion, history, sports, tourism, health, and other areas. They should hold a variety of cultural forums, exhibitions, and performances; host cultural events, art and film festivals, and tourism promotion activities; translate and publish books; produce and broadcast movies and TV programs about the Belt and Road; support youth, academic, volunteer, and NGO exchanges; and carry out extensive philanthropic activities related to education, healthcare, poverty alleviation, and environmental protection. These countries should strengthen people-to-people bonds through cultural exchanges, reinforce the foundation of public opinion towards the Belt and Road Initiative, and create cultural and emotional buy-in for its development path so as to form a value system that represents human progress and justice, embodying the concepts of peace, justice, history, and development.
5. Countries along the Belt and Road should further improve the institutional arrangement for the Belt and Road Initiative so as to provide a strong safeguard for its construction.
In order to promote the Belt and Road Initiative, it will be necessary to gradually break through the barriers of various countries’ fragmented institutional mechanisms. China and the Belt and Road countries must push for institutional arrangements and make major institutional innovations to form new systems, rules, and approaches so as to safeguard the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative.
- Establish an open mechanism for countries from outside the region to participate in the Belt and Road Initiative. All countries and international and regional organizations, as long as they are willing to participate, are welcome to join the Belt and Road Initiative as supporters, builders, and beneficiaries. Countries along the Belt and Road should work together to allow new member countries and organizations to join. China is willing to work with countries interested in promoting the Belt and Road Initiative to push for opening, exchanges, and convergence on a larger scale.
- Establish an organizing and coordinating body for the Belt and Road Initiative. In order to better promote the initiative, countries along the Belt and Road should set up an organizing and coordinating body consisting of representatives from the governments along the Belt and Road. Its main responsibilities will include developing plans and implementation measures, conducting progress assessments, selecting major projects, releasing statistics and information, coordinating the discussion of major issues, and designing work plans. This body can set up a secretariat in Beijing and develop mechanisms for people to work together.
- Establish a security dialogue and cooperation mechanism for the Belt and Road Initiative. Some regions along the Belt and Road are experiencing geopolitical and military conflicts, terrorism, and rampant separatist forces, all of which pose a threat to the security and stability of the Belt and Road Initiative. Countries along the Belt and Road should establish a security dialogue and cooperation mechanism, form an institutional dialogue framework, and conduct consultations around key security issues that impact the Belt and Road Initiative under the premise of fully respecting the interests of all parties, focusing on the widest consensus, and exploring areas where interests converge. Countries along the Belt and Road should also establish a formal security cooperation mechanism. Through regular or irregular joint anti-terrorism exercises, maritime patrols, major disaster relief exercises, regional peacekeeping exercises, and cyber security contingency drills, these countries can further deepen their mutual trust in the area of national security, continuously enhance the security level of their cooperation, and establish an effective security force to guarantee the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative.
- Establish a customs union for countries along the Belt and Road. The countries should focus on the integration of customs clearance, reform their customs supervision system, optimize their processes, and cooperate to establish a customs union. National customs administrations should strengthen the exchange of information, supervision and mutual recognition, law enforcement and mutual assistance cooperation, inspection and quarantine, certification and accreditation, standard measurement, and mutual recognition of statistical information. They should establish a unified mechanism for transport coordination and improve port operations, international customs clearance, changes to packing, and intermodal transport connections so as to form unified transport rules to facilitate customs clearance and avoid duplication of efforts. They should also strengthen immigration and border inspection cooperation and actively expand the negotiations on two-way visa exemptions to facilitate people-to-people exchanges.
- Establish a national macroeconomic policy coordination mechanism for the Belt and Road Initiative. The Belt and Road Initiative has provided a new platform and channel for participating countries to strengthen their macroeconomic policy coordination and communication. This new platform and channel is conducive to the convergence of policies that benefit global economic development. Countries along the Belt and Road should take this opportunity to reduce uncertainties, interruptions, and imbalances in relevant national policies, minimize the negative spillover effect, support the sustainable growth of the global economy, and respond to potential risks. They should do this by promoting global macroeconomic policy coordination and communication and taking into account fiscal, monetary, employment, industrial, and structural reform policies.
- Establish a formal mechanism for an annual Belt and Road Summit. Building on the success of the Belt and Road Summit in Beijing in 2017, the "Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation" should be held every two years. This will give all countries along the Belt and Road an opportunity to come together to have in-depth exchanges around the issues affecting the Belt and Road Initiative, making it the highest level official forum of the Belt and Road Initiative. The 2017 Belt and Road Summit in Beijing was the first of its kind, the second forum can be held in 2019 in China. In the future, the forums may be held in other important cities of major countries along the Belt and Road.
6. Deepen exchanges and cooperation between think tanks in countries along the Belt and Road to provide intellectual support for the Belt and Road Initiative.
To promote the Belt and Road Initiative, there is a need for support from governments, businesses, and peoples along the Belt and Road. Think tanks play an important role in government decision-making, business development, and public opinion. Countries along the Belt and Road should work closely to provide insights for the initiative and develop consensus, agendas, and programs with wisdom, rationality, and intellect. Looking to the future, the Belt and Road Initiative should leverage the faith, consensus, and knowledge of the countries along the Belt and Road; promote innovation, connectivity, and coordination; abandon ineffective ideas; and let the light of wisdom shine onto the earth from the high command of human morality and justice.
- Jointly build a global think tank exchange network for the Belt and Road Initiative. Think tanks are an important part of a country's soft power and voice in the world. They have a profound influence on government decision-making, business development, public opinion, and the transmission of public knowledge. The Belt and Road Initiative should pay special attention to think tank exchanges and cooperation. Global think tanks should jointly set up a global network so that relevant institutions and think tanks can carry out bilateral or multilateral research on the Belt and Road Initiative, organize relevant research activities and exchanges, publish research papers and reports to promote the exchanges and cooperation, and offer advice on the Belt and Road Initiative.
- Build a think tank alliance for the Belt and Road Initiative. Relying on the global think tank exchange network for the Belt and Road Initiative, countries along the Belt and Road can establish a think tank alliance to conduct top-level design for the Belt and Road Initiative, develop construction plans, organize the global think tank forum on the sidelines of the Belt and Road Summit, conduct relevant theoretical and applied research on the Belt and Road Initiative, track the social conditions and public opinions in countries along the Belt and Road, identify potential problems, take the initiative to respond to key issues of public concern, and effectively guide public opinion on misunderstood issues. Think tanks can also provide intellectual support, decision-making advice, feasibility studies, social surveys, risk assessments, and other services to the Belt and Road Initiative.
- Jointly publish big data reports on the Belt and Road Initiative. When progress is made on the Belt and Road Initiative, big data becomes increasingly important. China should fully leverage the resource advantages and professional expertise of its national think tanks and integrate the information resources on national data platforms to create a large database for governments and private citizens. This would allow big data and scientific information to benefit the present and future of the Belt and Road Initiative. The database could consist of information arranged by country, region, theory, practice, project, and data. It could include basic information about the countries along the Belt and Road, their economies and industries, policies and regulations, plans, projects, cultural exchanges, and public opinion, thereby providing countries along the Belt and Road with diversified, normalized, and visualized big data products, and presenting an all-round, multi-dimensional picture of the Initiative’s progress and future needs. Chinese think tanks are willing to work with think tanks in other countries along Belt and Road to create links to the data and information of various governments, think tanks, research institutions, and media organizations and further enrich and improve the contents and functions of the database so that it can play a greater role.
- Jointly publish annual research and annual trade and investment reports for the Belt and Road Initiative. Think tanks along the Belt and Road should conduct joint research and set up joint research teams to track political, economic, cultural, social, security, and public opinion issues. They should publish annual research reports on the Belt and Road Initiative to review progress and problems and provide evidence-based support to governments so that they can formulate appropriate policies and understand what is happening. The trade and investment report on the Belt and Road Initiative would be published annually to dynamically track changes in the investment and business environment in countries along the Belt and Road by conducting follow-up studies on countries, key areas, and major projects to provide guidance for business investment and project implementation.