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BRICS Economic Think Tank Forum held in Beijing

time:2014-11-07

Co-organized by Center for China in the World Economy (CCWE), Reinventing Bretton Woods Committee (RBWC) and BRICS Economic Think Tank, the 1st BRICS Economic Think Tank Forum and its inauguration ceremony were successfully held in Beijing on November 6th, 2014. Under the theme of “Cooperation among BRICS Countries for the reform of the international financial architecture”, the forum gathered government officials, leading scholars from BRIC nations and 150 worldwide guests.

Peiyong Gao, President of National Academy of Economic Strategy, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences host the ceremony with Daokui Li, Dean of the Schwarzman Scholars at Tsinghua University; Marc Uzan, Executive Director and Founder of the Reinventing Bretton Woods Committee; Evandro Menezes de Carvalho, Professor of the Getulio Vargas Foundation; Martin Gilman, Director of the Centre for Advanced Studies, Higher School of Economics; Geethanjali Nataraj, Senior Professor of the Observer Research Foundation and Jeremy Stevens, Economist of South Africa's Standard Bank jointly started the Forum.

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Inauguration ceremony of the BETT Forum

(From left to right) Peiyong Gao, Evandro Menezes de Carvalho, Marc Uzan, Martin Gilman, Geethanjali Nataraj, Daokui Li and Jeremy Stevens

Other participants include Weihe Xie, Vice President of Tsinghua University; Guangyao Zhu, Vice Minister of Ministry of Finance of the People’s Republic of China; Guangshao Tu, Member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Shanghai Committee, Executive Vice Mayor of Shanghai; Zhijie Zheng, President of China Development Bank; Guoqiang Long, Researcher and member of Committee of the Development Research Center of the State Council; Bing Yang, Vice District Director of People’s Government of Tianjin Binhai New Area and Hannah Ryder, Deputy Country Director of United Nations.

Xie said that CCWE, especially Professor Li, has long been dedicated to research and cooperative work among BRIC nations and Tsinghua University is in full support of the establishment of BETT and its Forum. The grand occasion of this opening ceremony was a result of both worldwide expectation for future development of BRIC nations and their support for Tsinghua University and CCWE.

Zhu outlined the practical significance and potential impact of the founding of the BRICS Development Bank, saying that BRICS consists of five emerging market economies in which both diversities and common-grounds are seen. In the spirit of sticking together to surmount future challenges, agreement for the founding of BRICS Development Bank has been reached in such a short time, suggesting a promising future for member nations.

Tu believed that the development bank, headquartered in Shanghai, will be a new boost for city’s modernization. To ensure a smooth preparatory and operational work, Shanghai will establish a sound system in line with central government and President Xi’s important remark so as to fully meet China’s commitment for building and running this bank. 

Zhijie Zheng indicated that China Development Bank, as an internationally-recognized developmental financial institution, would like to exchange knowledge and experiences with worldwide counterparts so as to contribute to the founding of the new bank and sustainable development of world economy.

Guoqiang Long mentioned in his speech that there is plenty of room left for BRIC nations to work together and think tanks have played their role in forming the BRICS therefore they are a must. Peiyong Gao also highlighted the importance of think tanks, saying that it is vital for these organizations to cooperate on a single platform in order to achieve our goal. Hannah Ryder also believed that international community welcomes the establishment of new organizations as they promote sustainable development. She thought that this forum is crucial for the reform of international financial architecture and would allow BRIC nations to play bigger role on global stage.

Daokui Li concluded that Chinese people attach great importance to thinking before they act, and think tanks should take the initiative before BRICS figure out way of cooperation. He said that establishment of BETT is a vital first step as it serves as base for knowledge sharing and would strengthen soft power of member nations. To Li, BETT is of global relevance as it features scholars, former official and worldwide intellectuals that are interested in BRICS development.

During the forum, CCWE and BETT jointly published the 2014 BETT Report and the Beijing Declaration. In it, it made clear that BETT will be 1) promoting multi-polarization of the world economy, producing better balance in world’s economy, creating more efficient global governance and building a more democratic atmosphere in international relations; 2) providing intellectual support for the BRICS Summit in corresponding period; 3) suggesting BRICS Summit to set up permanent secretariat in order to promote further cooperation among member nations.

The event drew broad media coverage from around the world with Xinhua News Agency, People’s Daily, Guangming Daily, Economic Daily, CCTV, CRI Online, China Network, Eastday, Beijing News, Southern Urban Daily, Folha de Sao Paulo, India Today, Times of India, SA Station (Channel 5), Tass all present. CRI Online, China Network and Eastday aired the whole event as strategic partners.