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      China to push forward Shanghai Spirit

      By TAN YINGZI in Chongqing and MO JINGXI in Beijing | China Daily | Updated: 2021-08-24 07:04
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      A journalist views 3D products at the Smart China Expo 2021 in Chongqing, on Sunday. The expo, which runs from Monday to Wednesday, aims to promote exchanges in smart technologies and international cooperation in the smart industry. WANG QUANCHAO/XINHUA

      Xi calls for SCO members to deeply engage in international cooperation on digital economy

      President Xi Jinping sent a letter on Monday congratulating the China-Shanghai Cooperation Organization Forum on the Digital Economy Industry and Smart China Expo 2021, which both opened in Chongqing.

      In the letter, Xi said that as the world is entering a period featuring the rapid development of the digital economy, new technologies, business patterns and platforms such as 5G, artificial intelligence and smart cities are booming and profoundly affecting global scientific innovation, industrial restructuring and socioeconomic development.

      In recent years, China has been actively promoting digital industrialization and industrial digitization and has been pushing forward the deep integration of digital technologies with economic and social development, Xi said.

      Since this year marks the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Xi also said that China stands ready to carry forward the Shanghai Spirit with all SCO members to deeply engage in international cooperation on the digital economy.

      Digitization, networking and intelligence should provide more momentum for economic and social development, thus creating a new chapter for digital economy cooperation, Xi said.

      SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Norov and dignitaries from participating countries took part in the opening ceremony and main forum online, during which they delivered speeches.

      Norov praised China's openness in sharing its experience in developing the digital economy and called for more targeted cooperation among SCO countries in the fields of innovation, cross-border e-commerce, digital skills training, skills cultivation and e-learning.

      According to the white paper "Digital Economy Development in China",  China's digital economy in 2020 had reached 39 trillion yuan ($6 trillion), accounting for 38 percent of its GDP, effectively supporting the country's epidemic prevention and control efforts and economic development.

      "The SCO region represents about half of the world's population. For the SCO, China's rich experience in the development of the digital economy and cross-border e-commerce is very valuable," Norov said.

      A statement on the development of the digital economy was adopted at the 20th meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO in November.

      According to the statement, strengthening practical cooperation to promote the digital economy would be conducive to enhancing the technological competitiveness of SCO member states and enhancing socioeconomic well-being.

      More than 610 companies are participating in the events in Chongqing, both online and offline.

      "Overall digital transformation is a must for economic development in the new era," Li Shufu, chairman of Geely Holding Group, the parent company of Volvo and a major stakeholder in Mercedes' parent company Daimler, said at the event.

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