The Fourth High-Level International Forum on Sustainable Urban Development is being held in Southwest China’s Chengdu City from Monday to Wednesday, highlighting the in-depth collaboration between Cities and Regions along the Belt & Road.

China will continue to ramp up cooperation in scientific and technological innovation with cities and regions along the Belt & Road and, for the next step, together build up an international center for technology and innovation to promote the integrative development of technology and industry, as well as technology and finance, according to Su Wei, the Deputy Secretary General of the National Development and Reform Commission, at the opening ceremony on Monday.

Meanwhile, China will also support the cities along the route to jointly build a digital Silk Road to promote cross-border e-commerce and other new business forms and models, and explore setting international standards in the digital field, according to the official.

In particular, China proposes the resolute support of people-to-people and cultural exchanges between cities along the route, as well as the carrying out in-depth cooperation in fields such as education, culture, health, sports, media and tourism.

“The joint development of the Belt & Road Initiative share the same vision and mission with the United Nations 2030 agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), aiming to ensure a better and more sustainable future for all people around the world.

The Belt & Road Circle of friends has included 138 Countries on five Continents and 31 International Organizations have signed up (for the mission), which will surely open up new and broad prospects for international cooperation in urban sustainable development,” Su said.

The forum has been held for four consecutive years, and has become an important outcome of the joint efforts between the Chinese government and the UN-Habitat to promote the construction of the Belt & Road.

It provides an important international platform for the exchange of experience on urban sustainable development, he added.

During the Second Belt & Road Forum for International Cooperation held in May, 2019, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) and China signed the joint initiative to host the International High-level Forum on Sustainable Urban Development, as the only international forum under their cooperation.

The Forum is seen as an important part of implementing the action plans proposed at the Belt & Road Forum for International Cooperation.

Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) in 2013, which is considered a grand vision for promoting common development through better connectivity among countries and regions, and has been morphing into a solution for speeding up global cooperation for greater prosperity.

A total of 136 Countries and 30 International Organizations had signed cooperation agreements with China on jointly building the Belt & Road by the end of July, 2019 according to data on China’s Official Belt & Road web portal.