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Innovation key to sustainability

Macao forum stresses China's wisdom on global infrastructure collaboration

By XU WEIWEI in Macao | China Daily | Updated: 2024-06-21 09:57

Green innovation is essential for the sustainable development of all countries, while digital connectivity is an important infrastructure of the future, said senior officials and experts at a forum in Macao.

Held from Wednesday to Friday, the 15th International Infrastructure Investment and Construction Forum seeks to bring China's wisdom to global infrastructure cooperation and help China and countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative make new progress in joint infrastructure construction, said Fang Qiuchen, chairman of the China International Contractors Association, which organized the event with the Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute.

As transformation of the global energy structure accelerates, the concept of jointly addressing climate change and promoting green and low-carbon economic development is deeply rooted in the hearts of many people, Guo Tingting, China's vice-minister of commerce, said at the opening ceremony.

To promote cooperation in green infrastructure, the ministry has signed memorandums of understanding on investment cooperation in the green economy with about 30 countries.

Chinese companies have invested more than $350 billion in infrastructure, completed contracted projects worldwide and built a large number of low-carbon, environmentally friendly, digitally intelligent and interconnected projects that have boosted people's livelihoods in the host countries, she said.

Onesimus Kipchumba Murkomen, cabinet secretary of Kenya's Ministry of Roads and Transport, said the forum's theme, "Green Innovative Digital Connectivity", is timely and builds on the outcomes of the 3rd Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation that was held in October.

He noted Kenya's efforts to develop sustainable and modern infrastructure. The country's transport network not only serves itself, but also provides critical maritime access and a transit route to land-linked neighboring countries, including Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan.

U Myo Thant, Myanmar's minister of construction, said the forum's theme may serve as the guiding principle and pivotal focus of infrastructure development and investment for participants of the BRI.

"Myanmar has incorporated ecological protection, increasing renewable energy generation, increasing green investment, protecting biodiversity and improving waste management into its long-term strategy," he said, citing the implementation of "green innovation" projects for Myanmar's transport sector and urban planning and housing sector.

Common paths

In a keynote speech, Joao Baptista Borges, minister of energy and water of Angola, said his country and China are in search of common paths for social and economic development, with a long tradition of friendship and cooperation.

China's technical and technological capacity is one of the important areas that have provided many advantages and benefits to African countries, he said, particularly in the field of infrastructure and connectivity, such as the BRI, which has promoted the industrialization of the African continent, with a relevant effect on achieving the African 2063 agenda for sustainable development.

"Economic growth cannot occur without high-quality digital connectivity, thus we work with China in this respect," said Jean Jacques Bouya, minister of state for land planning, infrastructure and road maintenance of the Republic of Congo, adding that China's financial support is critical in promoting development projects in line with the BRI.

Zhang Shaohui, vice-president of the Export-Import Bank of China, said green finance has developed rapidly and has become an important measure to cope with climate change and achieve the "double carbon" goal.

Committed to supporting China's foreign trade, investment development and international economic cooperation, the bank has established a green credit strategy and proposed management requirements, continuously enriched green financial products and services, and strengthened international cooperation in green finance, contributing to jointly building a green international community.

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