On December 2, 2019, the 2nd Asia-Europe Cooperation Dialogue held its Opening and Plenary Session in Chongqing, which was addressed by Co-chair Ban Ki-moon, who also serves as Chairman of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA); Zhou Xiaochuan, Vice Chairman of the BFA; Esko Aho, former Prime Minister of Finland; Tang Liangzhi, Mayor of Chongqing; Li Baodong, Secretary General of the BFA; and Paolo Borzatta, Senior Partner of the European House-Ambrosetti. The event was also attended by more than 400 participants from 21 countries and regions as well as from three international organizations.
In his speech, Ban Ki-moon highlighted the fact that 60% of the world’s population live in Asia and Europe, whose combined GDP also represents over 60% of the world’s total.
“With today’s world economy challenged by protectionism, unilateralism, unstable and uncertain factors, it’s necessary to send a clear message of supporting globalization and free trade to the international community.”
He also expressed his hope that Asia and Europe will strengthen their traditional economic and trade ties, expand cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, increase exchanges in the fields of culture and technology innovation and take concrete actions to practice multilateralism and promote an open world economy.
Zhou Xiaochuan emphasized the need for more concerted actions from Asia and Europe—to promote trade and investment, safeguard multilateral trade systems and restore the authority and efficacy of the WTO; to improve infrastructure connectivity, so as to reduce transportation and communication costs and bring about synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative and the Strategy for “Connecting Europe and Asia”; to address the global challenge of climate change by effectively implementing the Paris Agreement, developing low-carbon economies and providing policy, technology and financial support to developing countries; and to strengthen cooperation in innovation in response to challenges created by disruptive technologies.
After the end of the opening plenary, more than 400 guests and participants will have one-day discussions on topics such as “Belt and Road Initiative and European Development Strategy”, “Prospects and Challenges of Financial Globalization” and “Internet of Things & Smart City”. Asian and European business leaders will also have a closed-door meeting regarding micro-level cooperation.
- Ban Ki-moon’ interview with CGTN
- Ban Ki-moon’s interview with iChongqing
- Ambassador Kim Won-soo, BKMC Board Member, interview with iChongqing