Speech: [2017/05/25] Speech Delivered at the Eighth International Infrastructure Investment and Construction Forum By Yu Xiaohong, Vice President of China International Contractors Association
(Source: The 8th International Infrastructure Investment and Construction Forum)
Honourable Chairman Jackson Chang
Mrs Irene Lau
Friends in the media:
The 8th International Infrastructure Investment and Contraction Forum (IIICF), jointly hosted by China International Contractors Association (CICA) and Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM) – and approved by the Ministry of Commerce and the Macao SAR Government, will be held on 1st and 2nd June 2017, at the Venetian Macao. The 3rd China-Latin America Infrastructure Cooperation Forum, organised by the Ministry of Commerce, will also be held on these days.
On behalf of the International Infrastructure Investment and Contraction Forum organising committee and the China International Contractors Association, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to the media friends attending this press conference. Now, I will introduce to you the details of the 8th International Infrastructure Investment and Contraction Forum, covering the following three aspects.
- Forum Theme
The theme of the 8th International Infrastructure Investment and Contraction Forum is: “Collaboratively Build Diverse, Innovative, and Sustainable Infrastructure with Industry Connectivity”.
International infrastructure investment and construction are currently enjoying tremendous development opportunities. As the global economic recovery still lacks strength and growth momentum, various countries around the world have reached a consensus regarding expediting their infrastructure development in order to boost short-term growth, and establish a solid foundation for healthy medium-to-long-term economic development.
On the other hand, China is intensively implementing its “Belt and Road” initiative and promoting international industrial cooperation, actively interfacing with the development plans of peripheral countries, and providing support in terms of capital, technology, equipment and manpower, to inject vitality for cooperation in international infrastructure development.
During the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, which has just concluded, leaders of the participating countries reached a consensus on enhancing communication on government policies, creating innovative investment and financing models, promoting synergy on infrastructural planning and development, and realising inclusiveness and sustainable development.
Innovative development of infrastructure, industrial connectivity, and sustainability are currently the hot topics receiving the most attention and focus in the global industrial sector.
Innovation is the initial driving force of development. In recent years, through continuous innovation in concepts, systems, technology, production methods and financing models, we have considered the interests of all parties for a balanced and mutually beneficial solution, to realise rapid development in international infrastructure cooperation.
Industrial connectivity is an important pillar of infrastructure development. At the moment, the governments of all countries attach great importance to matching their domestic industrialisation when formulating their overall infrastructural development planning. t is hoped that infrastructural construction can energise development of related industries, and motivate positive interactions between various industries. In the implementation of the “Belt and Road” initiative, industrial investment and cooperation have become a strong support for enabling interaction between different infrastructural facilities. Currently, Chinese contractors are actively exploring integrated development, investment and construction solutions, and investment-oriented commercial operational models – such as the establishment of overseas economic and trade cooperation zones, to realise organic integration of infrastructure construction and industrial connectivity development.
Sustainability is an important goal for international infrastructural cooperation. Infrastructure development must be sustainable, in order to promote economic development, enjoy investment returns, and realise being environmentally friendly along with social wellbeing. The United Nations Summit on Sustainable Development 2015 passed the “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, confirming sustainable development of infrastructure as one of its 17 sustainable development goals.
Against this backdrop, we set the theme of the 8th International Infrastructure Investment and Contraction Forum as “Collaboratively Build a Diversified, Innovative, and Sustainable Infrastructure with Industry Connectivity”. It has a strong, practical significance – to reflect the new trend of today’s international infrastructure development and cooperation, the challenges encountered by Chinese international contractors, and the new direction for industrial transformation and upgrading
- Major Agenda and Activities of the Forum
The agenda of the 8th International Infrastructure Investment and Contraction Forum is designed to closely match the event theme, focusing on the hot topics of the industry and development trends. It establishes an exchange and cooperation platform for the international industry, which enhances Sino-foreign cooperation and co-development.
The opening ceremony of the forum on 1 June will be attended by 55 guests and ministerial level officials from 43 countries and regions. Afterwards, influential guests from governments, industrial and academic sectors will deliver their speeches, sharing opinions and points of view from various angles on international infrastructural cooperation.
The thematic forum sessions will be held in the afternoon of 1 June. There will be two such forums: “Transformation and Innovation: The Development Path to Sustainable Infrastructure” and “Synergy and Interaction: Infrastructure Construction and Industrial Development”; along with the 3rd China-LAC Infrastructure Forum, organised by the Ministry of Commerce. Ministers responsible for infrastructure in participating countries, senior managers of financial institutions, international contractors and professional bodies have been invited to participate in seminars on innovative cooperation, promotion of infrastructure construction and industrial linkage development, infrastructure interconnection and cooperation in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the transformation and upgrading of China-Latin America industrial capacity cooperation models.
The organising committee has arranged four parallel forums and activities for the second day of the forum (2 June):
(1) Addressing the transformation and innovation of financing models and commercial models for international infrastructural cooperation. Four parallel forums will be held, covering the following topics: “Innovation in Infrastructure Financing and the Role of Private Capital”, “International Contractors Leaders’ Forum”, “Integration and Innovation in International Engineering Projects”, and “Corporate Governance and Global Operation of Multinational Corporations”. Senior managers of international financial institutions, ENR250 major international contractors, engineering installation manufacturers and professional bodies are invited to participate in in-depth discussions and sharing.
(2) Top-level dialogue addressing infrastructure construction and industrial connectivity development. Through holding the parallel forum “Dialogue between Ministers and Entrepreneurs: Infrastructure Construction and Industrialisation in Africa”, ministers responsible for infrastructure in African countries and representatives of international contractors and international organisations are invited to discuss the best paths and practices for synergistic development of infrastructure construction and African industrialisation through implementation of the “Belt and Road” initiative and international industrial capacity cooperation.
(3) Addressing sustainable development of infrastructure. Two parallel forums – “Smart City and Sustainable Infrastructure Development”, and “Addressing the Impact of Climate Change and Carbon Reduction in Infrastructure Construction” – have been organised, to invite guests from project owners, design consultants, international contractors, equipment manufacturers and international bodies to share their views and discuss the issues related to smart cities, application of advanced technology, infrastructure construction, carbon reduction and tackling global climate challenges.
(4) Addressing regional and individual markets and pragmatically promoting international infrastructural cooperation. This year’s forum focuses on the regional and individual markets that attract attention from the industry. Four parallel forums “UK-China Infrastructure Alliance Forum: Opportunities in East Africa and the UK”, “Seminar on Industrial Capacity and Financial Cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries “, “Presentation of Infrastructure Plans & Capacity Cooperation Projects in CELAC Countries”, and “Presentation of Infrastructure Plans & Capacity Cooperation Projects” are organised to invite guests and officials at ministerial level from the above-mentioned three regions and countries, top management of international contractors and international consultancies to share their views on exploring individual markets, enhancing synergistic interaction and cooperation between interested parties.
Moreover, the forum will continue with extended activities – “Roundtable for Chairmen of International Associations”, “Project Signing Ceremony”, and “Press Conference”, to showcase the results of the forum and respond to questions from the media.
- Forum Highlights
The highlights of the agenda and activities of the 8th International Infrastructure Investment and Contraction Forum are as follows:
(1) Highlighting “Belt and Road” infrastructure cooperation and publishing authoritative indexes and reports. This year’s forum will launch and announce “The Belt and Road Infrastructure Development Index (2017)” and “The Report on the Belt and Road Infrastructure Development Index (2017)”. Focusing on in-depth studies and systematic evaluation and analyses of the current situation, development trends, opportunities and risks of the “Belt and Road” infrastructure markets, the index and report will serve as useful references for international investors and contractors exploring these markets. They will include analyses and interpretations of the situations with infrastructure development in eight Portuguese-speaking countries.
(2) The first ever International Contractors Leaders’ Forum, to promote horizontal cooperation between international contractors. Representatives from the ENR250 major global contractors are invited to discuss the opportunities and challenges faced by international contractors, against the backdrop of the implementation of the “Belt and Road” initiative. Highlights of this year’s forum will be the gathering of industrial elites, hot topics for discussion, perspectives and development trends, and sharing of innovative ideas.
(3) Addressing the connectivity of the development plans of “Belt and Road” regions and African and Latin America and the Caribbean regions. During the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, the leaders of participating countries reached a consensus on supporting the “Belt and Road” initiative, to enhance interactions and connectivity between Europe and Asia, and promote the opening of African, Latin American and Caribbean regions. As an important international initiative, “Belt and Road” provides a golden opportunity for all countries to deepen cooperation. This year’s forum has invited 28 ministerial-level guests and officials from 23 African countries, and 11 ministerial-level guests and officials from Latin American and the Caribbean countries to the event, with the aim of promoting policy communications, deepening connectivity, and pragmatically commencing infrastructure cooperation with Africa and the LAC regions.
(4) Highlighting Macao elements. This year’s forum will again invite six Macao organisations as co-organisers, to enhance the participation by the Macao community. Notably, there will be a “Seminar on Industrial Capacity and Financial Cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries”; also the “China-Portuguese Speaking Countries Cooperation and Development Fund” Headquarters Unveiling and Protocol Signing Ceremony” will be held during the forum period, marking the official launch of the development fund in Macao, to provide consultancy and project financing services to enterprises. This will help mainland China and Portuguese-speaking countries and enterprises to jointly participate in the “Belt and Road” initiative, further enhancing Macao’s function as a platform for business and trade cooperation and financial services between China and Portuguese-speaking countries. Moreover, the forum has invited participation by parties and industrial representatives from the Pan Pearl River Delta 9+2 provinces and regions.
- Progress with Organising the Forum
At present, the organisation of the 8th International Infrastructure Investment and Contraction Forum has received positive responses, with active participation from the international industrial community.
As at 23 May, 55 ministerial-level guests and officials from 43 countries and regions have confirmed their participation. They include 12 ministerial-level guests and officials from countries and regions along the “Belt and Road”, and eight from Portuguese-speaking countries.
Investment and financing is a core topic for international infrastructure cooperation. This year’s forum has expanded the scope of invitations of international financial institutions, receiving good responses. At this moment, representatives of the top management from multilateral development institutions, such as World Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Asian Development Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, African Development Bank, African Export-Import Bank, China Development Bank, The Export-Import Bank of China; and more than 40 domestic and overseas financial institutions, such as Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Islamic Development Bank, China Minsheng Bank, China-LAC Cooperation Fund, China-Latin America Production Capacity Cooperation Investment Fund, and Macquarie Capital have confirmed they will attend the forum.
Companies in industries related to International infrastructure cooperation have also shown enthusiasm regarding participation; they include project owners, such as Algeria Gas and Electricity, Infrastructure Bureau of Ministry of Construction of Angola, Mozambique Electricity, Mozambique Ports and Railways Company, Chilean State Railways, Codelco, and The Philippines National Railways; more than 50 ENR250 international contractors, such as China State Construction, China Communications Construction Company, China Energy Engineering Group, and Power Construction Corporation of China; world-class equipment manufacturers, such as Caterpillar, Volvo Construction Equipment, and Guangxi Liugong Machinery; and world-class consultancies, such as KPMG, Clyde & Co, Simmons & Simmons, and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. It is anticipated that the forum will be attended by more than 1,500 participants.
It will be a gathering of industrial elites. China is currently implementing the “Belt and Road” initiative, promoting mutually complementary advantages, mutual benefits and win-win solutions for human beings as a whole community, establishing an infrastructure cooperation platform for mutual interests and common development, pragmatically implementing the “Belt and Road” global initiative, and facilitating global economic inclusiveness and sustainable growth. We firmly believe that this year’s forum will be another great industrial event for exchanging ideas, gathering information, discovering opportunities and cooperation.
The full support and assistance from the joint-organiser – the Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute, is critical to the successful preparations for the 8th International Infrastructure Investment and Contraction Forum. I would like to express my special thanks to Chairman Jackson Chang, Mrs Irene Lau, and all colleagues in the Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute for their great efforts. Meanwhile, I also thank all media friends joining today’s press conference, for their long-term support and interest in the forum.