The 11th International Infrastructure Investment and Construction Forum (11th IIICF), collaboratively hosted by the China International Contractors Association and the Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM), kicked off at The Venetian Macao on 2 December. More than 400 entities and 1,000 political, business, and academic leaders have been invited to discuss infrastructure issues such as the opportunities and challenges faced by international infrastructure co-operation, the trends of the international infrastructure market in the post-pandemic era, and how the international industry can surmount the difficulties and promote the sustainable development of global infrastructure through strengthened co-operation.
In his welcome speech at the opening ceremony, Chief Executive of the Macao SAR Ho Iat Seng remarked that this year’s IIICF would usher in potent impetus for the recovery of Macao’s economy. With the full support of the Central Government and co-operation of the Macao SAR Government, this Forum has not only developed into one of the most influential international exhibition events held in Macao, but also become a pivotal platform for Macao to participate in the construction of the “Belt and Road” Initiative and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area co-operation. The 11th IIICF is themed “Responding to Challenges and Promoting Global Infrastructure Development”, playing a positive role in boosting confidence, building consensus, working together to meet challenges, and bolstering high-quality and sustainable development of the industry.
Vice-Minister of the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China Wang Bingnan, noted in his speech that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, economic globalisation encountered a countercurrent, resulting in persistently heightened risk aversion and dealing a blow to international infrastructure investment and construction. However, the dominant trend of accelerating infrastructure investment and construction through international co-operation would not change, he added. He put forward four suggestions regarding driving forward the high-quality and steady development of international infrastructure co-operation: First, playing a more active and open role and strengthening international infrastructure co-operation. Second, deepening connectivity infrastructure and serving regional economic integration and development. Third, bringing forth new investment and financing models that solve financing gaps in the infrastructure market. Fourth, adhering to innovation-driven development and pushing forward with the integrated development of new infrastructure construction and traditional infrastructure construction.
Senior Minister and Minister of Public Works and Transport of Cambodia Sun Chanthol, pointed out that infrastructure investment and construction were key to social and economic development, which could create job opportunities, enhance the national economy, and tighten regional ties. The large amount of money needed for infrastructure is a major challenge for most developing countries, while initiatives and institutionslike the “Belt and Road”, the “Silk Road Economic Belt”, the “21st Century Maritime Silk Road”, and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, play a paramount role in infrastructure in developing countries.
In his speech, Chairman of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Authority (CPECA) Asim Saleem Bajwa said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor was a major pilot project of the “Belt and Road” Initiative. Over the past five years, there were 22 construction projects under the framework of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, covering roads, railways, airports, thermal power, hydropower, renewable energy, Gwadar Port, special economic zones, and other areas. In the face of COVID-19, all projects in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor have been moving forward, bringing hope for a future of peace and economic growth.
On the first day of the Forum, keynote forums themed “Challenges and Opportunities: Outlook on International Infrastructure Development in Post COVID-19 Era” and “Solidarity and Co-operation: Jointly Promoting International Infrastructure Development in a Steady Progress”, the 6th China-LAC Infrastructure Forum and the “Networking Reception of the Mainland China-Macao Belt and Road Business and Professional Services Council” were also held. At the same time, the “Belt and Road Infrastructure Development Index (2020)” and the “Annual Report on Belt and Road Infrastructure Development Index (2020)” were released.