Editor's Note: China published a report elaborating on the progress, contributions and prospects of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in April. The document, prepared by the office of the leading group for promoting the BRI, was released ahead of the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held from April 25 to 27 in Beijing. The following is part of the text under the theme of prospects.
Innovation is an important force powering development. In pursuing the Belt and Road Initiative, we need to encourage innovation. Over the past five years or so, China and other B&R countries have been improving the environment for innovation, pooling resources for innovation, and strengthening cooperation in science and technology innovation. We will continue to spur the full integration of science and technology with industries and finance.
Since the turn of the century, global technology innovation has intensified and become more active. Another round of the technology revolution and industrial reform is restructuring the global innovation landscape and reshaping the global economy. Belt and Road cooperation has provided new opportunities for countries in the primary and middle stages of industrialization to merge properly into global industrial chains and value chains. As various factors and resources for development are shared, flowing and regrouping among B&R countries, each country can leverage their comparative strengths, focusing on studies in cutting-edge technology application and on the research, development and application of high-tech products, to push forward innovation-driven development. The Belt and Road Initiative will become a new platform for the innovation-driven development of participating countries, a driving force for their leapfrog development, and a new engine propelling global economic growth. Through coordinated development and joint response to challenges, the Belt and Road Initiative has enabled different countries and different groups of people to share the fruits of economic globalization during the development of an open world economy, and the momentum will continue.
The digital economy is a major economic transformation, a successor to the agricultural economy and the industrial economy. The world is experiencing a revolution in technology and industrial reform on a larger scale and at a deeper level. As modern information technology makes continuous breakthroughs and the digital economy thrives, all countries have seen their interests more closely connected. All parties involved in the Belt and Road Initiative should pursue innovation-driven development, intensify cooperation in frontier areas such as artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and quantum computing, and promote big data, cloud computing and smart cities, so as to turn them into a digital Silk Road of the 21st century. China has formed a multilevel and diverse mechanism for technological and people-to-people exchanges, by offering short-term research visits to China for young scientists and offering training programs for science and management personnel from other B&R countries. Through building national level platforms for joint scientific research, China has enhanced stable and long-term cooperation mechanisms for technology innovation, to improve the capacity for technology innovation of B&R countries. We need to build a Belt and Road coordination network for technology transfer, to facilitate integrated innovation at regional level. Intellectual property is essential to innovation-driven development. B&R countries should respect intellectual property rights, effectively protect and utilize intellectual property, and build a sophisticated intellectual property protection system.