Vision of China-South Asia
in Economic and Social Development
The Second China-South Asia Cooperation Forum (CSACF for short) was held at the lakeside of Fuxian Lake in Yuxi City of China from 10 to 11 June, 2019. The Parties highly commended the role of CSACF as a platform that helps deepening understanding and mutual trust, and building a new type of partnership featuring closer and mutual beneficial relations between China and South Asian countries. Considering the increasingly important role of local governments of China and South Asian countries in advancing bilateral relations, the Parties agreed to approve a feasible Vision of China-South Asia Sub-National Cooperation in Economic and Social Development so as to promote mutual beneficial exchanges and cooperation, build an open economy, realize sustainable development, and contribute to the building of a community of shared future for China-South Asia.
1.1 The Parties highly commend the increasingly strengthened traditional friendship and mutual beneficial cooperation between China and South Asian countries. The Parties note that, in recent years, both China and South Asian countries have been committed to deepening friendly interactions, especially on promotion of infrastructure connectivity,economic and trade development, and people-to-people exchanges. Progress has been made on such pragmatic cooperation between local governments as BCIM Economic Corridor. Meanwhile, the Parties also note that it is necessary to further strengthen comprehensive, multilevel and wide-ranging exchanges and cooperation among local governments, given the rich human resources, huge market potentials and bright cooperation prospects enjoyed by China and South Asian countries.
1.2 The Parties believe that the local governments are the key driving force of promoting local economic growth, infrastructure connectivity, social progress, and improving people’s livelihood. It is also the major player in international exchanges and cooperation. The friendly interaction between local governments is an important part of and plays an indispensable role in developing national relations.
1.3 The Parties are of the view that, while the global economy is undergoing profound changes, confidence should be strengthened in promoting an open cooperation between China and South Asian countries, particularly between local governments, to address risks and meet challenges together. Their capacity to participate in globalization should be enhanced to develop the economy and deliver benefits to the people, contributing to the building of an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security, and common prosperity.
2. Principles of Cooperation
2.1 The Parties agree that local governments of China and South Asian countries will, under the leadership and with the support of the central government of each country, follow the principles of mutual respect, equality, mutual benefit, amicable consultation, openness, inclusiveness, diversity in forms, and emphasis on practical results in future cooperation, and conduct friendly exchanges and cooperation in various fields.
3. Goals of Cooperation
3.1 The Parties aim to, on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, further enhance the friendly and pragmatic exchanges and cooperation between China and South Asian countries, in particular between the local governments, in economy, trade, investment, connectivity, social development and other areas, so as to have better people-to-people exchanges, infrastructure connectivity, trade facilitation, financial connectivity, and more aligned development strategies. It is expected to promote China-South Asia partnership with mutual benefits to a higher level for a better future with win-win outcomes, contributing to the building of a community of shared future for China and South Asian countries.
4. Major Initiatives
4.1 Friendly Interactions between Sub-National Governments
4.1.1 The Parties believe that high-level interactions play a leading role in the development of bilateral relations and are of great significance. The local governments should strengthen friendly high-level interactions for joint consultation and top-level design to deepen friendly exchanges and cooperation.
4.1.2 The Parties agree that local governments should create a favorable business environment and provide convenience for enterprises to carry out cooperation in trade and investment. The local governments should encourage, support and assist the enterprises and business organizations from China and South Asian countries to create channels for effective communication and exchanges so as to ensure they play a key role in bilateral economic and trade cooperation.
4.1.3 The Parties agree that sister cities are a special force in sub-national cooperation as a friendly tie and platform for cities to learn from each other and prosper together. The local governments should support and encourage the establishment of more sister-city relations.
4.2 Trade and Investment
4.2.1 The Parties have taken note that there is a strong momentum between China and South Asia in economic and trade cooperation, and new progress has been made in trade and investment cooperation. The local governments should create a favorable business environment and give better play to the trade and investment in bilateral cooperation.
4.2.2 The Parties believe that, with the support of central governments, local governments should work together to improve trade and investment environment, respect international business practices to equally treat all the investors and provide necessary investment guarantee, and resolve any trade and investment dispute that may arise according to internationally recognized rules and practices in a fair and justified way.
4.2.3 The Parties suggest that all the relevant central governments adopt necessary measures to remove barriers to bilateral trade and investment and to facilitate market access.
4.2.4 The Parties note that the two-way trade between China and South Asian countries is not at balance. Therefore, the Chinese side will promote the import of more South Asian products, and fully leverage such platforms and mechanisms as China International Import Expo, China-South Asia Expo and China-South Asia Business Forum to facilitate bilateral economic cooperation and trade.
4.2.5 China welcomes the participation of South Asian countries in Exhibition and Trading Center for Commodities from South Asia & Southeast Asia and Everlasting China-South Asia Expo in Kunming to facilitate the access for more South Asian goods to the Chinese market.
4.2.6 The Parties agree to conduct a study on bilateral and regional trade and investment between China & South Asian countries. This study shall cover Trade Performance, Tariff Profile, Inward FDI share from China to South Asian countries and other financial instruments offered by the Chinese government to support South Asian countries in the past 5 years.
4.3 Infrastructure and Connectivity Cooperation
4.3.1 The Parties note that infrastructure and connectivity are the major bottleneck constraining economic growth of local governments and cooperation between China and South Asian countries. The local governments should play an active role in advancing connectivity.
4.3.2 The Parties believe that China and South Asian countries should further strengthen cooperation in road, railway, aviation, and telecommunications to build regional all-dimensional networks of connectivity, facilitating the mutual exchanges and cooperation.
4.3.3 The Parties agree to continue the infrastructure construction as the priority in bilateral cooperation, and strengthen cooperation in transport, telecommunication, water conservancy, power, energy and other infrastructure construction.
4.3.4 The Parties highly commend the project engineering cooperation carried out in South Asian countries. The Parties will encourage competent and creditworthy enterprises to participate in infrastructure and projects construction in South Asian countries, and share advanced technology and managerial skills in project contracting, technology transfer and management cooperation.
4.4 Financial Cooperation
4.4.1 The Parties emphasize the importance of cooperation between financial institutions in China and South Asian countries. It is expected that central governments will further strengthen cooperation among financial institutions, encourage the mutual establishment of financial institutions, strengthen personnel exchanges and peer cooperation, and explore cooperation opportunities in such areas as joint financing, capital market, currency swap, and settlement in local currencies.
4.5 Poverty Reduction Cooperation
4.5.1 The Parties are of the view that the primary task of achieving the sustainable development goals set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the United Nations is to eradicate poverty in all forms, and call on China and South Asian countries to work together to eliminate poverty in this region through concrete actions.
4.5.2 The Parties applaud China’s remarkable achievements and effective practices in poverty reduction and alleviation. It is hoped that the cooperation between local governments of China and South Asian countries in poverty alleviation and reduction will be strengthened by facilitating policy dialogues, experience sharing and capacity building, so as to benefit more people in South Asian countries.
4.5.3 The Parties believe that joint efforts should be made to increase investment in poverty reduction, to empower poor people and vulnerable groups, and encourage enterprises and social groups to participate in the poverty reduction cause.
4.5.4 The Parties agree to strengthen exchanges and cooperation in poverty alleviation with all the countries, and welcome the participation of third parties in the poverty reduction cause of South Asia on the basis of equal consultation with a view to achieving the great goal of eradicating poverty.
4.6 Urban Planning Management and Development
4.6.1 The Parties are of the view that, with the development of economic globalization and IT application, the pace of urbanization in China and South Asian countries is accelerating, and scientific planning, development and management of cities are playing an increasingly important role in the economic and social development.
4.6.2 The Parties suggest that local governments strengthen exchanges and cooperation and share successful practices in urban construction and management, especially in smart city construction, smart community construction, urban refined management, government service efficiency, public transportation management, circular economy, smart and green building, etc.
4.7 Tourism Cooperation
4.7.1 The Parties share the view that tourism development will contribute to the economic and social development of all countries by creating more jobs and helping local people to get rid of poverty. The Parties agree to cooperate in tourism development promotion, tourism infrastructure and capacity building, to complement tourism development strategies, and encourage mutual tourist visits.
4.8 Agricultural Cooperation
4.8.1 The Parties appreciate China's great achievements in agriculture and hope to further learn from China's successful practices in agricultural development.
4.8.2 The Parties consider it necessary to further strengthen exchanges and cooperation between local governments of China and South Asian countries in dry land farming, crop production, processing and trade of agricultural products, livestock production, veterinary services and agricultural capacity building.
4.8.3 The Parties recognize the importance of agriculture in poverty eradication and food security for South Asian countries, and make resolution to take all necessary measures to ensure cooperation in this field.
4.9 Development and Utilization of Natural Resources
4.9.1 The Parties recognize the importance of natural resources in their respective countries and the vital role of resource development in local development, and agree to promote cooperation in the development, utilization and protection of natural resources.
4.9.2 The Parties agree that the exploration and utilization of natural resources should be accelerated with full consideration of reasonable environmental protection measures.
4.10 Science and Technology Cooperation
4.10.1 The Parties recognize the importance of strengthening scientific and technological cooperation among local governments and agree to:
184.108.40.206 Strengthen cooperation in basic and applied research, technology development and transfer;
220.127.116.11 Promote technology cooperation in solar energy utilization, disaster prevention and control, and water resources development, and translate scientific results into promoting economic and social development;
18.104.22.168 Further strengthen cooperation in emerging technologies, nanotechnology, biotechnology, information and communication technologies, and expand the application of these technologies in such areas as health, agriculture, water resources, energy and food safety, etc.
4.10.2 The Chinese side supports the upgrade of local technologies of South Asian countries to boost the development of science and technology.
4.11 Cultural and Sports Cooperation
4.11.1 The Parties boast the splendid and rich cultural resources and heritages owned by China and South Asian countries. It is believed that it is necessary to further strengthen exchanges and cooperation in culture and fully tap the potentials of local cultural development.
4.11.2 The Parties share the view that there should be more exchanges of visits of cultural, art and sports groups. The study and promotion of each other’s culture and the protection of various cultural sites should be enhanced, and more various art shows and exhibitions and sports events exchanges should be conducted.
4.12 Cooperation in Medical Care and Public Health
4.12.1 The Parties agree to strengthen exchanges and cooperation in medical care and public health by carrying out research and development of medical technologies and results sharing, promoting cooperation and sharing experience in disease surveillance, vaccine production and traditional medicine, and by strengthening exchanges and cooperation in local medical personnel training.
4.12.2 The Parties agree to exchange and cooperate in reducing infant and maternal mortality, preventing and treating of HIV, malaria and tropical and other diseases.
4.13 Education and Human Resource Development
4.13.1 The Parties believe that education and human resources development are of great significance to local economic and social development.
4.13.2 The Parties agree that exchanges and cooperation in the fields of education and human resources development should be further expanded.
4.13.3 The Chinese side will further increase the number of scholarships for students from South Asia. Teachers can be sent to help local colleges and universities to improve the disciplines and programs building according to the demand of each country. Channels of communication will be established among universities for study on Chinese and South Asian civilizations. Educational institutions such as Yoga colleges and Confucius institutes are encouraged to be cultivated and developed.
4.13.4 The Parties agree to formulate country-specific training programs through appropriate channels and develop specific cooperation projects to help train professionals in various fields for local governments in South Asia.
4.14 Environmental and Biodiversity Conservation
4.14.1 The Parties are of the view that it is necessary for local governments of China and South Asian countries to strengthen cross-border cooperation and exchanges in environmental management and biodiversity conservation.
4.14.2 The Parties support international efforts in promoting environmental management and sustainable development. The key elements of various environmental conventions will be observed and the capacity to implement the Convention on Biological Diversity be enhanced to promote regional biodiversity conservation and green development so as to achieve harmonious development between man and nature.
4.15 People-to-People Exchanges
4.15.1 The Parties are of the view that people-to-people exchanges play an important role in promoting relations among nations and local governments. People-to-people exchanges should be strengthened to promote understanding and friendship between the peoples and consolidate the public support and social foundation for the development of national relations.
4.16 Media and Think Tank Exchanges
4.16.1 The Parties believe that exchanges and cooperation of the media and think tanks between China and South Asian countries should be strengthened to make into full play their important roles of enhancing mutual understanding and people-to-people contacts between the peoples.
5. Institutional Building
5.1 The Parties support the host of CSACF in Yunnan, China in the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits.
5.2 The Parties support the establishment of the CSACF Secretariat in Kunming as an administrative department, to designate forum liaison agencies and officers by the government of each country, to convene ministerial meetings and various specialized meetings in Yunnan every year and to promote the convening of CSACF Leaders’ Meeting in due course.