The 2023 Guangdong 21st Century Maritime Silk Road International Expo opened in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, on Friday, offering a platform for countries and regions related to China's Belt and Road Initiative to expand and deepen cooperation and exchanges.
In his keynote speech, Leung Chun-ying, vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, said the expo — with its concept of joint discussion, construction and sharing — has played an important role in promoting cooperation and exchanges between China and BRI countries and regions in the past.
He said he expects that participants will seize the opportunities to deepen cooperation to contribute to high-quality development in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the entire country.
The expo was first held in 2014.
More than 1,000 companies from 57 countries and regions related to the BRI are attending the event, which was organized in the exhibition halls of the China Import and Export Fair in Guangzhou's Haizhu district. In addition to increasing their profiles in the vast Chinese market, they seek to further advance cooperation and exchanges to help address crises and achieve economic recovery.
Zhang Shenfeng, vice-chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, said the expo has become a platform for regional cooperation, development and opportunity sharing.
It will play a part in further promoting cooperation and exchanges between Guangdong and BRI countries and regions, he said.
Zhang said he hopes participants will pool their wisdom, build consensus, deepen cooperation and jointly promote the high-quality development of the BRI.
Zhang Xin, vice-governor of Guangdong province, said Guangdong is trying to establish a new system for higher-level of open economy wants to further expand and deepen cooperation with BRI countries and regions in coming years.
He said Guangdong has now become the largest trading partner of BRI countries and regions and the largest two-way investment region in China.
Guangdong's import and export volume with BRI countries and region currently represents 27 percent of the province's total last year — up from the 16 percent recorded in 2014, Zhang said.
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