Emerging markets and developing countries (EMDCs) have risen rapidly since the start of the 21st century, becoming a significant driving force of global economic growth, experts said at a recent forum in Beijing.
During this period, the economic scale of EMDCs has accounted for half of the global economy, contributing around 80 percent of world economic growth, Lin Songtian, president of the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries said at the EMDC Development and Cooperation Beijing Forum on Tuesday.
With the theme of "Promoting Solidarity and Cooperation, Building Momentum for Growth," the forum assembled over 300 representatives from governments, industry associations, think tanks, media organizations and businesses around the world.
According to the World Economic Outlook released by the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday, emerging markets and developing economies are expected to grow by 4 percent in 2023 and 4.1 percent in 2024.
The rise of China as the world's second largest economy has offered most developing nations an opportunity to participate in the international arena and have an impact, Paul Tembe, senior researcher at the Department of Linguistics and Modern Languages, Chinese Section at the University of South Africa, said at the forum.
Participants at the forum noted that cooperation is the key to tapping the growth potential of EMDCs. China has been a pioneer in promoting cooperation in multiple areas.
Lu Yimin, general manager of the China General Technology (Group) Holding Co Ltd, said that the Allur Group -- a jointly-invested automaker the company launched with Kazakhstan -- has seen its production and sales rapidly increase in recent years. This has greatly boosted the modernization and industrialization of the local automobile industry and related sectors, he added.
The ultra-supercritical coal-fired power station project that the company built in Bangladesh has the largest installed capacity of any power project in the country so far, helping Bangladesh to achieve full power coverage, said Lu.
Operating in 157 countries across the globe, the China Communication Construction Co Ltd has also invested in and constructed a series of infrastructure projects, such as the Samal Island-Davao City Connector Bridge in the Philippines and Cambodia's Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway, the company's president Wang Tongzhou said at the forum.
Wang said that the projects have created tens of thousands of jobs for the locals so far.
Experts and industry observers at the forum also agree that the Global Development Initiative (GDI) proposed by China in September 2021 will help bring EMDCs closer.
"Grounded in the reality and long-term objectives of global development, the GDI built a consensus of advancement in the international arena and pointed the way to future cooperation among these countries," said Wang Yiming, deputy head of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges.
So far, over 100 countries and international organizations worldwide have expressed their support for the GDI. Projects under the GDI are currently helping 40 countries in areas including poverty relief and grain security, official data shows.
The digital economy and low-carbon pursuits were recommended at the forum as areas of future cooperation among emerging markets. Experts particularly suggested seizing opportunities from breakthroughs in technologies like big data, the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence.
"The EMDCs should create an open, fair and non-discriminatory environment for the digital economy, to narrow the global digital divide and give more people access to the benefits of scientific and technological achievements," said Wang.
Atul Dalakoti, founder of the BRICS Center for Economic Cultural Research & Services, said it is important for developing countries to find the political will to work closely together, with a lot of protective policies being put in place by the developed countries.
China is leading the growth of the digital economy. From 2016 to 2022, the scale of China's digital economy increased by $4.1 trillion to 50.2 trillion yuan ($7 trillion), with a compound annual growth rate of 14.2 percent, industry data shows.
The BRICS Summit, which takes place in South Africa this August, is another occasion for EMDCs to strengthen their bonds, as an increasing number of countries are applying to join the most important platform for solidarity and cooperation among developing countries, experts at the forum noted.
The BRICS countries, with enhanced economic strengths, will play a pivotal role in driving the transformation of global economic governance, said Wang.