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Grasslands Silk Road Forum discusses regional communication and cooperation

2014-07-18 (chinadaily.com.cn)

Ministry officials and representatives from cities along the Silk Road, experts and scholars from research institutions and universities, as well as diplomats from countries such as Russia and Mongolia, brainstormed ideas and insights surrounding the grassland Silk Road economic belt, when the Grasslands Silk Road International Communication and Cooperation Forum was held on July 18 in Hohhot, capital of North China’s Inner Mongolia autonomous region.

Qin Yi, mayor of Hohhot speaks at the Grasslands Silk Road International Communication and Cooperation Forum on July 18. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Li Guanghui, deputy head of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, presided over the forum. Those speaking addressed six speeches, all themed differently, to the forum. Speakers included the deputy director of the Ministry of Commerce’s Asian Affairs Department, an expert researcher on regional issues, and representatives from Russia and Mongolia. Though with different focuses, all the speeches discussed opportunities in the construction of the Grasslands Silk Road Economic Belt, as well as strategies for strengthening regional cooperation and communication in a way that would benefit everyone involved.

The Grasslands Silk Road International Communication and Cooperation Forum has set up two sections – state strategies and node cities. The forum is expected to enhance regional cooperation and strengthen communication and exchange, which is why Russia and Mongolia and the crucial node cities along the Silk Road such as Hangzhou, Yichang and Manzhouli, were invited to the event.

During his visit to Central Asia in September 2013, President Xi Jinping proposed the construction of a Silk Road Economic Belt, in a bid to strengthen economic cooperation and explore the potential for other means of cooperation .

Hohhot is an important node city on the Grasslands Silk Road, one of the four channels of the ancient Silk Road. The construction of the Grassland Silk Road economic belt will bring Hohhot’s location and resource advantages into full play, to boost its presence in domestic and foreign markets, and play a better role as a hub for domestic and foreign trade, according to the Hohhot bureau of commerce, the organizer of the forum.