Belt and Road Forum Spotlights WBBA’s Advocacy: Unleashing Broadband's Potential, Bridging the Digital Divide for Global E-commerce Growth
The third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation took place in Beijing on October 18, 2023. This significant event was attended by representatives from more than 140 countries and over 30 international organizations, including national leaders, heads of international organizations, ministerial officials, and participants from diverse sectors like business, academia, and civil society.
Marking the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), this forum served as a pivotal platform for collective discussions and the establishment of high-quality cooperation under "the Belt and Road." Li Zhengmao, Chairman of the World Broadband Association (WBBA), delivered a keynote address on advancing e-commerce and sustainable trade. He engaged in discussions with global political and business leaders, focusing on how international organizations can assist countries and enterprises in enhancing their e-commerce capabilities and promoting "the Belt and Road" cooperation.
Li Zhengmao advocated to call upon global cooperation to unleash Broadband’s potential to bridge this digital divide. He stressed the growing significance of "Silk Road E-commerce" as a driving force for economic and trade collaboration within this context. E-commerce, reliant on broadband networks and computers, operates through e-commerce platforms, IoT warehousing applications, and blockchain logistics, supported by numerous data centres and cloud computing.
The widespread adoption of high-speed broadband and 4G/5G networks in rural areas has facilitated rural e-commerce, especially live-streaming of agricultural products. The digital information infrastructure, symbolized by cloud and broadband networks, continuously shapes the trajectory of e-commerce, a pivotal element for fostering global economic growth and cooperation within the "Belt and Road" framework.
In the future, more diversified service models and better service experiences in e-commerce will put forward higher requirements for digital information infrastructure such as 5G and broadband networks, data centres, and cloud computing from both breadth and depth.
Li Zhengmao pointed out that, presently, some developing nations lag in broadband and fibre penetration rates, coupled with limited integration with digital platforms and applications, leading to a persistent digital divide. This gap significantly hinders the advancement of e-commerce to a more advanced level. He introduced the World Broadband Association (WBBA) as the world's pioneering international association for the cloud and broadband network industry.
WBBA actively fosters global collaboration across the industrial chain, bridging gaps between developed and underdeveloped regions, supply and demand, capital and industry, as well as government and industry. This initiative drives investments, advances the construction and enhancement of digital information infrastructure for cloud and broadband networks, and elevates global broadband penetration rates. WBBA plays a pivotal role in narrowing the digital divide, granting broader internet access, and facilitating the convenience of "global shopping from home," thereby catalysing global digital economy.
In an era marked by global instability, conflicts, and uncertainties, Li Zhengmao emphasized the pressing challenges confronting human peace and development. He urged countries to enhance collaboration, close coordination, and embrace the shared future for humanity. This entails promoting an open global economy. International organizations like WBBA should spearhead the creation of a top-tier platform for open exchange, cooperation, and sharing, unlocking the full potential for collaboration across diverse fields among countries and regions. This, in turn, will bolster connectivity and cooperation among these nations.
Li Zhengmao finally stated that at the WBBA Broadband Development Congress on October 24, 2023 in Paris, WBBA will release the flagship report. This report will provide in-depth insights into the development status of different countries around the world from multiple dimensions such as broadband access, applications and potential, as well as cloud applications and potential. It will propose solutions to key issues and provide suggestions and measures for various economies on how to invest in building cloud and broadband digital information infrastructure, thereby better empowering the development of the digital economy!