“Belt and Road Initiative: Developing Green Economies for Cities” Successfully Held in Vienna


In order to promote the realization of United Nations sustainable development goals and “new urban agenda”, Finance Center for South-South Cooperation (FCSSC) and United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) jointly held the 2nd “BRIDGE for Cities—Belt and Road Initiative: Developing Green Economies for Cities” at the United Nations Office in Vienna from September 26 to 28, 2017. Dr. John Wu, Vice President and Director-General of FCSSC, delivered a speech at the opening ceremony and then signed a memorandum of understanding with UNIDO to further consolidate the partnership and strengthen South-South and triangular cooperation, so as to promote the inclusive and sustainable industrial development among “Belt-and-Road” countries while facilitate the development goal of “industry, innovation and infrastructure” in the “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”.

“Urbanization is an important symbol of the progress of civilization. We are now experiencing the most rapid population transfer in human history; by 2030, it’s estimated that the world urban population will be over 5 billion, 80% of them living in developing countries,” said Dr. Wu, especially emphasizing the pressure on environment, energy, water resource and sanitation made by rapid urbanization. “UN sustainable development goals have proposed the idea of ‘sustainable city and community’; and we are pleased to see that countries around the world and the international community are making strenuous efforts to promote the transformation of human development patterns. The ‘Belt-and-Road’ Initiative raised by China actively carry out the new concept of green development, and a green, low-carbon, recycling and sustainable way of life. As an international organization in special consultative status with ECOSOC, FCSSC expects to cooperate with related parties in the field of development finance, financial integration, and city green development, etc.”

The three-day event “Bridge for Cities” brought together representatives from 131 cities in 65 countries, business leaders, development agencies, and academia. With two modules—“High-level Policy Dialogue” and “Showcasing Urban-Industrial Development Demands and Solutions”, the event successfully built a platform of polices, practices, solutions and business opportunities. During the event, participants discussed issues such as green technology, smart city, circular economy and related policy coordination and financing exploration. Ms. Joyce Zhang, Deputy Director-General of FCSSC, delivered a speech on the session of “Cities of Tomorrow: Technological Solutions and Holistic Approaches for Sustainable Cities”. She shared FCSSC’s endeavor in supporting smart city, information and communication technologies, talent cultivation, and integrated governance, mainly from three aspects: namely, information, education, investment. “Only by innovating the financing model can we better mobilize the resources on the road of smart city construction, and make funds more effective in promoting technological innovation and sustainable urban development. By broadening investment return standards and establishing impact investment evaluation system, we can attract more private capital into the smart revolution, just as those companies providing bicycle sharing services in China can raise huge amount of money from the capital market—a typical example of the innovation of internet and environmental protection.

Mr. Li Yong, Director-General of UNIDO, also emphasized the importance of industry at the opening ceremony. “Industry must take center stage, and help fundamentally transform the way we work, the way we live and the natural environment around us. It can do so by creating new employment opportunities, promoting economic prosperity and supporting green growth. This certainly can be advanced along the Belt and Road through a multiplier effect, and cities will play a leading role in shaping the future of sustainable urban industrial development.”

In addition to multilateral meetings, city exhibition is also an important part of the event. As representatives of the organizers, Mr. Li Yong and Dr. John Wu together cut the ribbon for the opening of the exhibition and watched the cultural show with other participants.

Since 2016, FCSSC has been in cooperation with UNIDO to jointly organize the annual event of “Belt-and-Road” urban development, aiming to provide relevant stakeholders with a platform for dialogue, help developing countries find solutions for green and new industrialization, as well as actively promote the trade and investment circulation along the “Belt-and-Road”.