THE 2017 Media Cooperation Forum on Belt and Road opened in China's ancient town of Dunhuang yesterday brought together more than 250 media managers and practitioners from various countries across the world.
Organised by China's state newspaper, the People's Daily, the forum seeks to solicit media's support in promoting the Belt and Road Initiative launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013.
According to the event organisers, yesterday's forum provided an avenue for dialogue between major Chinese enterprises, local and international media as well as opens a window for the world to better understand the Belt and Road Initiative.
The topics that were expected to be discussed include global coordination, the roles of governments and enterprises, smart manufacturing, the health care industry, the digital economy and cultural tourism industry. Highlights of the forum include influential think tanks seminars, themed speeches, high-end dialogues and media tours.
This will be the fourth media forum since 2014 when the annual event was held for the first time. Last year, the forum was attended by 212 delegates from 101 countries. This year's forum has delegates from about 130 countries.
The Belt and Road Initiative which is China's development strategy focusing on connectivity and cooperation, is expected to be one of the world's largest infrastructure development projects. It seeks to revive the ancient Silk Roads and boost connectivity among trading partners throughout Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa.
Apart from roads and sea lanes, the initiative which will also include high speed railways, bridges and ports provides the potential for electricity grid connectivity and increased renewable energy development.
BRI plans to build increased transport routes out of China, by the land and sea, down into South East Asia via the sea into Horn of Africa, as well as multiple routes via land into Middle Eas, Europe and Eurasia.
About 70 countries including Tanzania, are part of the ambitious initiative on which China is set to commit not less than 150 billion dollars a year.