BRI an essential platform for cooperation with Slovenia in post-coronavirus era

By Wang Jiamei Source:Global Times Published: 2020/5/18 21:02:59

Photo: cnsphoto

Slovenia's government last week declared an official end to its coronavirus outbreak, becoming the first European country to do so, after authorities confirmed a dramatic slowdown in new cases over the past two weeks.

Looking back on Slovenia's anti-epidemic course, its government's quick response was crucial to the success of combating COVID-19. The authorities were fast in imposing strict social distancing rules, closing all schools and prohibiting gatherings in public places, while conducting testing, contact tracing and quarantines of high-risk groups in a timely manner.

International cooperation is also of great importance in fighting the public health crisis. Slovenian Economic Development and Technology Ministry State Secretary Ales Cantarutti once told reporters that "the successful COVID-19 experience from China is very valuable" to his country. Moreover, Slovenia has also received donations of medical supplies from Chinese cities, businesses and individuals.

In recent years, China-Slovenia relations have maintained a sound development momentum on the basis of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) cooperation framework, with concrete results achieved in bilateral cooperation in political, economic and cultural fields. Previously, the Slovenian government also expressed its wish to build itself into one of the major logistic hubs of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

To a certain extent, the anti-virus exchanges between China and Slovenia could serve as a good example of cooperation for Central and Eastern European Countries, and Europe as a whole, under the BRI. The BRI coordination platform and its spirit of openness and cooperation are essential to dealing with the global public health crisis, which once again demonstrates the interdependence of countries around the world, pointing to the need for high-quality joint construction of BRI connectivity.

China-Slovenia cooperation in the post-coronavirus era is also of great significance to the latter in cushioning the impact of the pandemic and restoring economic development.

For starters, China could share its production resumption experience with Slovenia. And the two could enhance communication on economic policy coordination, launching preferential policies to help companies pull through the difficult times and promote tourism recovery.

In the meantime, lockdown efforts during the pandemic period have facilitated the digital transformation of the world economy, meaning there is great cooperation potential in the digital sector between China and Slovenia. Cooperation on cross-border e-commerce could foster new modes of international trade in the post-coronavirus era, while talks could be held on how to release the potential of new technologies such as 5G and artificial intelligence.

Last but not least, any breakthrough in China-Slovenia economic and trade cooperation will serve as a model of cooperation for BRI-related countries in the future.

The author is a reporter with the Global Times.


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