The Chinese flagship move - commonly known as 'Belt and Road' (BR) - could deliver mutual and equal socio-economic benefits for both the developed and the developing countries, speakers said while inaugurating this year's Media Cooperation Forum (MCF) on the BR on Tuesday.
Seeking media's active cooperation and focus for promoting the best practices along the region, they said it will undoubtedly help remove the barriers to trade, investment and socio-cultural advancements at a time when the concept of globalisation is facing hard times.
China's leading media house - the People's Daily - hosted the forum at Dunhuang in Gansu province, which is a key intersection of the ancient Silk Road linking the East and the West.
Over 300 media outlets from 126 countries and international organisations took part in the forum, making it the largest gathering of media people.
Opening the forum, President of the People's Daily Yang Zhenwu said media could be the information highway by covering developments on various aspects along the BR map with positive mindsets, and could help ensure global governance.
The People's Daily will take six specific actions to promote media cooperation, Mr Yang pledged.
He elaborated that the efforts will include releasing a blue paper on BR media cooperation, launching an international research centre, and starting a BR media cooperation centre and a BR joint interview mechanism.
Besides, establishing a cooperation union for BR regional cooperation, setting up a culture research institute, and publishing the English version of the book series 'Ode to Silk Road' are also among the efforts.
Later, the Chinese daily launched the global research wing, BR media cooperation centre and cross-border joint reporting project.
The bodies will work to conduct in-depth research, searching ways to further strengthen media cooperation among the domestic and the international outlets.
Zheng Bijian, Chairman of China Institute for Innovation and Development Strategy (CIIDS), said protectionism seems on the rise after four decades of globalisation, but that does not mean that it is overturned.
"Protectionism, now being shown by some of the developed countries, is an anti-globalisation tool. We need much deeper approach to overcome the crisis, and the BR, introduced by the Chinese President, could be the perfect option," he added.
Li Chenggang, Assistant Minister for the Ministry of Commerce of China, said his country will import goods and services amounting to US$ 2.0 trillion and would make investment worth US$ 150 billion along the BR countries in the next five years under the initiative.
"The investment will be made in various areas, including infrastructure development, connectivity and energy resources. Many projects have already been signed and many more are in the pipeline. I think it will create new economic dynamism in the global economy," he further said.
Terming the BR initiative a good opportunity, especially for the developing and the least developing countries, the participating media personalities suggested clear definition along with specific aims and objectivities of the initiative to make it more understandable to the common people.
Editor of The Financial Express A H M Moazzem Hossain, Associate Editor of the Daily Prothom Alo Abdul Quayum, Consulting Editor Kamal Ahmed and News Editor of The Independent Mir Mostafizur Rahaman participated in the forum from Bangladesh.
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