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Comments from Participants on Seminar on Building Smart Cities under Belt and Road Initiative

From Oct. 14 to 27, 137 seminar participants from 20 countries gathered online to brainstorm ideas about smart city building. Sponsored by the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) of China, and organized by the Academy for International Business Officials (AIBO), the Seminar on Building Smart Cities under Belt and Road Initiative aims to promote Digital Silk Road building.

Participants meet at the opening ceremony

Mr. LIU Rutao, Vice President of AIBO, stressed the need to pool wisdom and develop a platform for smart city building for countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

“Smart city building would be of great significance in driving digital economy growth and achieving specialized and dynamic management, thus enhancing city management effectiveness and improving people's life quality,” said LIU at the opening ceremony of the seminar.

Vice President LIU Rutao addresses the opening ceremony

The seminar centered on 12 sessions, during which Chinese experts, academics and business leaders exchanged ideas with the participants on the way forward for the BRI through strengthening mutual understanding and expanding international cooperation. “From China’s national conditions to the BRI, from reform and opening-up to smart cities, I’d like to express special gratitude to the experts and specialists of various organizations who presented us with the strategic approaches, experience and capabilities,” said Halina Matsiushenka, researcher of the United Institute of Informatics Problems (UIIP) of the National Academy of Sciences in Belarus.

Participants voiced the opinion that China’s BRI provides new motivators for a new round of globalization and China’s economic development in the coming era. “I could tell that all events are well arranged and allow us to expand our knowledge on China’s experience about building and construction through the BRI,” said Azizbek Nurmirzayev, chief expert of the Center for Technical Standardization in Construction, Ministry of Construction in Uzbekistan.

Participants interact with the speaker at lecture

Salah Yahya, Professor and Ph.D, who works as director of quality assurance at the Koya University in Iraq, believes it is critical to hold regular dialogue among B&R countries to attain the goal of better smart cities. “We are sure that such a seminar is very important to get real and direct information on the BRI from the distinguished professors and expertise who had presentation of 12 intensive sessions for 14 days,” Yahya said.

Yahya also agrees this seminar has been an outstanding example to enhance individual and collective contribution of B&R countries in their transformation from traditional cities to smart ones. On behalf of the Koya University, he sent a letter to extend his appreciation to MOFCOM and AIBO for the wonderful organization of the seminar. Please find attached the letter from Mr. Salah Yahya.

Group photo at the closing ceremony

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