Leaders gather in Astana to discuss ‘global silk road’

ASTANA: More than 2,000 leaders from 60 countries are meeting in Astana the capital city of Kazakhstan for the “Global Silk Road’ forum which is devoted to the 5th anniversary of One Belt, One Way initiative.

The forum also coincides with the 20th anniversary since the naming of Astana as the capital city of Kazakhstan.

According to the director of the International Secretariat G-Global Serik Nugerbekov, the forum is a practical platform for implementation of various projects and initiatives in the areas of transport and logistics, education and culture, innovation and technology, renewable energy, waste management, agriculture and tourism.

Among the participants are some 70 mayors from the Silk Road countries, 30 political leaders, 200 large chambers of commerce and industry and transnational companies of the world, more than 150 foreign speakers and moderators.

Notable among those attending are the mayors of London, Bangkok and Sydney .

Based on the results of the Forum, it is planned to establish a Club of Cities Mayors, the Association of Businessmen, Universities, Journalists, Poets of the Silk Road Countries, as well as a platform of women’s and youth organizations.

The laying of the foundation of the architectural complex “Golden Bridge of the Silk Road” will be historic event, as a symbol of friendship from the world-famous Chinese art figure Shu Yun. The length of the bridge is 28 meters. Sculpture symbolizes the dream of creating a global community with a common destiny, common interests and shared responsibility.

The headliner of the event will be a special participant – the Sophia Gynoid, developed by the Hong Kong Company “Hanson Robotics”. This robot has skills to adapt to human behavior and communicating with people and is a popular guest at various international events. Since October 2017, Sophia has been granted citizenship of Saudi Arabia and the first robot, which acquired the citizenship of any country.

Also within the framework of the event, there will be a friendly football match between the national team of mayors and governors and the world team – veterans of football. Shu Yun made national flowers of silk of countries located along the “Belt and Way” and placed them in bricks of artificial amber from which the “Golden Bridge of the Silk Road” was built in the image of the famous Chinese bridge in Zhaozhou. This work was previously presented at the Milan EXPO-2015, in 2017 it was selected for the Forum of International Cooperation “Belt and Way” in Beijing and demonstrated at other important events.

Earlier in May 2017 UAE joined more than 110 country delegations to participate in the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, hosted by the Chinese Government in Beijing. The move was a part of efforts to accelerate progress on the Belt and Road initiative, which aims to enhance cooperation and develop the economies along the Old Silk Road.

The Belt and Road Forum represents the first major international conference on the Belt and Road strategy, since President Xi Jinping announced his ground-breaking strategy, in 2013, to transform Asia’s developing economies, better connect them to each other and strengthen their trading links with the rest of the world.

The Belt and Road strategy seeks to align policies and attract investment in major infrastructure, energy and transportation projects and has the potential to be a significant catalyst of stability, peace, prosperity and economic growth.

The modern Silk Road will not only work to boost the trade, but also bolster the development of culture, literature and translation between Arab and Chinese literature. The forum will enhance mutual interests between China and the Arab world, and add new inspiration into the application of the Belt and Road Initiative. One everlasting heritage from the ancient Silk Road was cultural and civilization exchange and it will be inherited by the modern Silk Road.