On June 7, 2017, the 4th Beijing International Conference of Friendly Chambers of Commerce (“the Conference” for short) was successfully held. Over 400 representatives from 51 countries and regions in total attended the Conference, including business officials of the embassy in China, representatives from Chinese and foreign enterprise, and commercial leaders from World Chambers Federation, World Trade Center Association, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Chamber of Commerce and Industry Paris (France), Bucharest Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Romania), Vienna General Chamber of Commerce (Austria), Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce (MCCC), Brazil-China Chamber of Industry and Commerce(CCIBC) and others. Mr. Chen Zhou, Vice Chairman of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) and China Chamber of International Commerce (CCOIC), and Mr. Xu Zhijun, Deputy Secretary-General of the Beijing Municipal People's Government attended and addressed the Conference.
The Conference was held by China Council for the Promotion of International Trade Beijing Sub-council (CCPIT Beijing) and Beijing Chamber of International Commerce (BCIC) every two years in Beijing, aiming to build a platform for exchanges and cooperation between governments of various countries and regions, different chambers of commerce, investment trade promotion organizations and enterprise, as well as to explore the resources of all parties to boost economic prosperity and social development. Since 2011, the Conference has been held three times and attracted more than 1,400 attendees, of whom are leaders, scholars and enterprise representatives from international organizations, chambers of commerce, and governments.
The 4th Conference themed on “Cooperation, Development and Win-win” and took various forms such as dialogues, round tables, project promotions, exhibitions, inspections, and exchanges. The attendees exchanged their views and opinions on the relevant issues of economic globalization, the countermeasures for coping with common challenges to industrial and commercial circles, and shared the innovation model and best practice of service business for common development in the context of current world economy. The Conference organized in-depth discussion on investment and trade promotion service and legal service around the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative. Meanwhile, The Conference called for the establishment of “The Belt and Road” City Chamber of Commerce Union.
At the opening ceremony, Mr. Chen said that it has been the common concern of governments and industrial and commercial circles around the world about how to explore new paths and new forces for growth under the background of unbalanced development of world economy and new crossroad of globalization. Chambers of commerce around the world and their cooperation networks are experienced in promoting communication between enterprises and governments, improving policy inclusiveness and helping SMEs integration into global value chain. He stressed that under the framework of “the Belt and Road” international cooperation, chambers of commerce of different countries should give full play to regional expertise and resource advantages, and strive together for economic prosperity.
Mr. Xu pointed out that 2017 was a year full of challenges and hopes. The world economy has maintained a recovery while faced with risks such as insufficient growth momentum, sluggish international trade and investment. The Chinese government has put forward the five development concepts of “innovation, coordination, green, openness and sharing”, sped up the construction of a new open economic system, implemented innovation driven development strategy, deepened the structural reform of supply side, and strengthened sustainable economic development. The municipal government of Beijing, has actively implemented the new concepts of development, accelerated the construction of a harmonious world-class livable capital, in the meanwhile, the government has focused on the establishment of a national science and technology innovation center, with high-grade, high-precision and advanced economic structure and new industry ecosystem, so as to maintain continuous and steady economic and social development, and constantly improve the level of the open economy. Mr. Xu stressed that chambers of commerce, as the bridge of communication and cooperation between governments and industrial and trade circles, have unique advantages in promoting trade, connecting people and other aspects, therefore should play a major role in the connection, policy publicity, platform building, representative of industry and commerce, mechanism improvement and the result implementation. The initiative for the establishment of "the Belt and Road" City Chambers of Commerce Union by the Conference, is a very meaningful effort.
Mr. Rona Yircali, Honorary Chairman of ICC World Chambers Federation (WCF) emphasized in his speech that the chambers of commerce should respect globalization as well as localization. The theme of “Cooperation, Development, Win-win” of the Conference well features the characteristics of the era and is rich in the connotation. And the Conference serves not only as an important channel for the public to know chambers of commerce and seek for new business opportunity, but also as an great platform for enhancing the understanding and friendship, as well as developing the cooperation between the chambers around the world.
In panel discussions, Mr. Rona Yircali and Mr. Li Mingtao, Dean of China International Electronic Business Center Research Institute delivered their speech on “Chambers of Commerce and Investment Trade Promotion Service” respectively. Mr. Liu Chao, deputy Director of Legal Affairs Department of CCPIT, Mr. Chen Hongbin, Director of China Office of WIPO, and Ms. Andritoiu, Vice President of Bucharest Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Romania) further interpreted the legal services of the chambers of commerce. The panelists shared their views and opinions about the innovative model and methods of cross-border e-commerce platforms in the promotion of investment and trade, and the practices, experiences and suggestions provided by the chamber of commerce for enterprises’ multinational operation.
The “Roundtable of Chairman of Chamber of Commerce” was also held during the Conference. Chairmen s and representatives from 16 domestic and foreign chambers of commerce addressed the Conference on the focus and cooperative project of the year. Xiong Jiuling, Chairwomen of CCPIT Beijing/ BCIC delivered her speech on the reaching of “2017 Beijing Cooperative Consensus” and the initiative to establish “the Belt and Road” City Chambers of Commerce Union. According to Ms. Xiong, the Conference is aiming to establishing a platform between chambers and enterprises which is helpful to extend connection network, explore development concept, and deepen communication and cooperation. Focusing on the common concern of global industrial and commercial circle such as the new dynamic of world economic development, the inclusive development of SMEs promoted by the enhancement of collaboration of chambers, and the hotspot of “the Belt and Road” Initiative. the Conference exchanged the latest development concepts and innovative service models of regional chambers of commerce in different nations, probed into the ways and approaches to helping SMEs improve their competitiveness through internet plus and cross-border e-commerce platform. “2017 Beijing Cooperative Consensus” based on the discussions and achievements of the Conference mainly consists of the following parts:
First, in the context that global integration faced with challenges, world economy experienced downturn risks and uncertainties, chambers of commerce of different countries, regions and cities should give full play to their advantages and join hands to resolutely support the liberalization of trade and investment as well as the facilitation of trade; they should also help SMEs integrate into global value chain fairly, improve their national, regional and municipal competitiveness respectively, and promote steady and sustained growth and prosperity of the world economy.
Second, chambers of commerce should continue to strengthen their exchanges and cooperation, learn from each other, innovate the service model for sustainable development, and explore the new ways and opportunities for cooperation, in order to comply with to the innovation of concept, system and mechanism, and business model for the development of world economy, as well as the growing demand of enterprise service. Chambers of commerce should continuously strengthen the exchanges and cooperation, learn from each other, innovate the sustainable service model, and explore new ways and opportunities for cooperation.
Third, actively explore and adopt new approaches of “internet plus” to facilitate international investment and trade, encourage and support international trade based on cross-border e-commerce platforms.
Fourth, “the Belt and Road” Initiative brings new drive force for global industrial and commercial circles to expand the win-win cooperation and deepen the interconnected development. Chambers of commerce may play a unique role in promoting the connectivity of the world， supporting and initiating the establishment of “the Belt and Road City Chambers of Commerce Union”, reaching further consensus and combing various advantages and resources of national, regional and municipal chambers to create a new platform for SMEs to join in “the Belt and Road” international cooperation.
Ms. Xiong said that “the Belt and Road” City Chambers of Commerce Union aims to build a service union of chamber of commerce to enhance the mutual trust, functional complementation of industrial and commercial circles of different countries and regions, better serve SMEs in participating in “the Belt and Road” construction and global economic cooperation. The union will become a platform to promote mutual trust and cooperation among enterprises, a platform to gather together all service resources of chamber of commerce, as well as a bridge to enhance friendship between cities.
Focusing on serving enterprises and promoting economic and trade cooperation, the Conference organized "investment and trade cooperation promotion". JD.com Global- joybuy.com, xbniao.com (a cross-border e-commerce platform), CCIBC, Rome Expo Bureau(Italy), Bucharest Chamber of Commerce and Industry(Romania), Belarus-China Industrial Park, China- European Industrial Park in Hungary, China Industrial Park in India, Longjiang Industrial Park in Vietnam and China - Indonesia Julong Agricultural Industry Cooperation Zone held project promotion respectively. In addition, business talks between representatives from Chinese enterprises as well as from foreign chambers and enterprise were also organized.
The Conference announced that the 5th Conference is planned to be held in Beijing in 2019.