Infrastructure connectivity, energy efficiency and agricultural development highlighted in Executive Secretary's mission to China

29 Apr 2019

In a mission to China on 24 to 26 April, ESCAP Executive Secretary Armida Alisjahbana expressed commitment to cooperating with the national government on a wide range of areas at the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held in Beijing.

At the Forum, Ms. Alisjahbana emphasized that ESCAP would continue to support the exchange of good practices and foster a common approach to regional economic integration based on international standards, UN values and norms.

During her mission, Ms. Alisjahbana held bilateral meetings with key government representatives, including State Councilor and Foreign Minister of China H.E. Wang Yi. Guided by a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, Ms. Alisjahbana signed the agreement representing ESCAP work to further strengthen regional connectivity. A balanced and integrated approach across countries and sectors will be taken to accelerate progress towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Ms. Alisjahbana also reaffirmed ESCAP’s commitment to working with the government of China and its specialized institutions to achieve greater energy efficiency in the region. ESCAP will be a partner in taking forward the Belt and Road Green Cooling and Green Lighting Initiatives launched at the Belt and Road Forum, deepening collaboration on policy, technology and market reform to improve the efficiency of energy use for lighting and cooling.

On the sidelines of the Forum, the Executive Secretary also signed two Memoranda of Agreement through ESCAP regional institution the Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization (CSAM). The agreements boost knowledge-sharing and action to support effective agricultural machinery in the region for greater food security and rural development.

CSAM has committed to cooperating with the Certification and Accreditation Administration of the People’s Republic of China (CNCA), known as the State Administration for Market Regulation, and the Italian Agency for Agricultural Mechanization (ENAMA). The agreement aims to support sustainable agricultural mechanization in ESCAP member States by strengthening technical guidelines and supporting the testing of agricultural machinery and the development of conformity assessment procedures.

At the signing, the Executive Secretary met with H.E. Tang Jun, Vice Minister of CNCA, to discuss expanded opportunities represented by the agreement to build capacity for rural development in ESCAP member States.

A second Memorandum of Agreement was signed by the Executive Secretary between ESCAP and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of the People’s Republic of China (MARA), represented by Vice Minister of MARA H.E. Qu Dongyu. The agreement will underpin the design and implementation of joint programmes and activities between the Department of Farm Mechanization of MARA and CSAM, supporting CSAM’s mission to promote the use of safe, efficient and environmentally sound agricultural machinery in Asia and the Pacific.

Finally, Ms. Alisjahbana met with the President of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank Jin Liqun, highlighting the areas for potential synergies between ESCAP and AIIB on regional transport connectivity in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.