Countries need to strengthen cooperation under multilateral mechanisms and seize the opportunity of the digital economy, regional economic and trade cooperation and the Belt & Road Cooperation, so as to create a community with a shared future for mankind, said foreign experts at the Sixth China and Globalization Forum.

The Forum, which was held from November 11 to 12 in Beijing, focused on the new opportunities and challenges for global development amid the COVID-19 pandemic and in the ever-changing global situation.

Timothy Stratford, Former Assistant to U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), said the COVID-19 Pandemic has tested the global mechanism and supply chain, and countries will be more resilient in the future because of the test they are facing now.

“The pandemic has tested the strengths and weaknesses of our emergency response systems. They’ve tested the vulnerabilities and our supply chains. They’ve tested us in a lot of ways, every country, every company, every family.

We’ve had to evaluate how we can respond to this, and so I think people have to come back and say, okay, why have we had this problem and what do we need to do better in the future.

So ultimately, I think that when we come out of the pandemic, we will be more resilient and we will be better prepared in the future, but right now we’re still going through that learning process, and of course it’s been very costly and it’s been very painful,” said Stratford.

French Ambassador to China Laurent Bili pointed out that global issues like the COVID-19 pandemic will not be solved without interdependence, calling for cooperation between countries to jointly combat COVID-19 and facilitate economic development for all countries, because problems including the epidemic are faced by all and cannot be solved without mutual dependence and mutual consultation.

“Interdependence is best way, but interdependence also means that we should have reciprocal advantage, and of course interdependence is key as long as all economies are open and there is a real playing field.

And also part of the challenge that we have to work in the future and very quickly I assume, because things have been working, especially for us with last year, in a detrimental way and we need to see countries like China as open as European Union is,” said Bili.

Ahcene Boukhelfa, Algerian Ambassador to China, spoke highly of the Belt & Road Initiative, which has promoted the connectivity of supply chains and trade between countries, and called for more cooperation in economic development.

“The Belt & Road Initiative launched by the President Xi Jinping in 2013, we think in Algeria, my country, it is a very big initiative and a very big project for the future. And the connectivity of infrastructure already made is helping the connectivity of supply chain and is helping the connectivity of the trade between countries and it is important for the restart of, if you can use this word, restart of the economies all over the world,” said Boukhelfa.