On May 22, 2019, we, representatives of the governments, businesses, think tanks and scholars from UCLG ASPAC and 79 cities of 41 countries attended the 2019 UCLG ASPAC Executive Bureau Meeting & Dialogue on International Economic and Trade Cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative(BRI). At the Meeting, we had extensive and in-depth exchanges of visions and views under the theme "Share Unimpeded Trade Opportunities, Promote Urban Win-win Development" and reached the following consensus.
1. We acknowledge that in a world of complex and profound changes and increasing inter-connection and inter-dependence, our cooperation opportunities and common interests are expanding. Cities and local governments, big and small, should join hands to tackle common challenges. Guided by the principle of equality, cooperation and shared benefits and the vision of open, green and clean development, we should build synergy between the BRI and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development(2030 Agenda) to pursue a high-quality and sustainable development that brings real benefits to the people. The Meeting was organized by Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Cities, UCLG ASPAC, Belt and Road Local Cooperation Committee, and hosted by the City of Yiwu. Focusing on the new thinking and ways of enhancing international economic and trade cooperation among the family of the world cities, the Meeting not only resonates with the outcomes of the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation and its thematic forums for local cooperation, but also offers a new platform for global intercity dialogues, exchanges and collaboration.
2. We believe that in a globalized world, unimpeded trade cooperation is our shared aspiration and drives cities to expand trade opportunities, optimize trade structure and achieve sustainable development. It concerns the sound growth of city economies and local achievement of the goals set in the 2030 Agenda. We are ready to jointly improve business environment for our cities and boost the free flow of talents, funds, goods and services between friendship cities to tap into a trade cooperation network that connects cities in the Asia-Pacific region and has global reach.
3. We stand for enhancing connectivity and policy coordination among cities. Cities should pursue an open policy, oppose protectionism and uphold the multilateral trading system to make the world economy more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial to all. We should also give better play to regional free trade agreements such as the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement and the China - ASEAN Free Trade Agreement to strengthen the economic and trade cooperation between local governments. Through interactions, friendship cities can promote policy connectivity and work out regional cooperation plans for mutually beneficial and win-win results.
4. We propose promoting intercity infrastructure connectivity, opening more direct flights, tourist charter flights and cargo charter flights. Work to build a Belt and Road land port network in terms of shipping, railway port, free trade and bonded logistics while cooperating closely with the YXE China-Europe Cargo Railway Service. All of us need to leverage digital, Internet and intelligent technologies to develop cross-border trade and enhance intercity exchanges and cooperation on digital trade.
5. We call for new modes of investment and financing in cities. We should promote green investment and finance for green development, channel financial resources for trade development, give stronger financial support to such areas as trade, investment and cross-border cooperation, and facilitate e-commerce logistics finance, trade financing and ease the access of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises to international loans.
6. We will firmly align ourselves with the grand vision of the the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations, that is to encourage civilizations in Asia and beyond to engage in dialogue and exchanges to facilitate mutual learning and promote prosperous development. Meanwhile, we will develop international friendship cities and establish global and regional organizations of cities to promote inclusive development based on the understanding and respect of different urban civilizations and the exchanges and communication between diversified cultures. We will also bring our people closer by encouraging local governments, civil society and citizens to play their part in cooperating on education, youth and entrepreneurship.
7. We applaud Yiwu as the World’s Capital of Small Commodities and an important node city along the BRI route. We welcome Yiwu's policies and measures for vitalizing intercity trade, especially those boosting imports. We will explore the mechanism of hosting regular dialogues on international economic and trade cooperation under the BRI and discuss the feasibility of holding Zhejiang International Friendship Cities Exchanges Exhibition regularly, giving full play to Yiwu as an exhibition city.
Cities and local governments will work together to implement the above commitments for creating a more prosperous world.