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Strengthening think tank cooperation with Azerbaijan under ‘B&R’

Author  :  LIN YUEQIN     Source  :    Chinese Social Sciences Today     2017-10-12

Co-hosted by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) and the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences (ANAS), the September academic forum in Baku, capital of Azerbaijan, highlighted the role of think tank cooperation in boosting economic and trade relations between the two countries.

In his speech, CASS President Wang Weiguang said that China and Azerbaijan have enjoyed a longstanding friendship since they first established ties on the ancient Silk Road. Now, with complementary advantages in multiple fields, the two sides have great potential for cooperation in constructing the Belt and Road.

There is currently close cooperation in traditional industries, such as the oil refining and petrochemicals industry, while there is wide space for cooperation in other fields like IT, agriculture, tourism and transportation, Wang said. Moreover, increasing exchanges in humanities and social sciences have also greatly contributed to mutual understanding and effective cooperation.

Akif Alizadeh, president of ANAS, said that Azerbaijan is coordinating its 2020 development strategy with the construction of the Belt and Road, which will bring a wider range of prospects for cooperation in infrastructure and logistics. In addition, the two countries will strengthen cooperation in humanities, academics and think tanks.

Since CASS and ANAS signed an agreement on exchanges and cooperation in 2016, experts and scholars have exchanged visits on a regular basis, and jointly organized symposiums, seminars and other academic activities. ANAS set up a research center for Chinese culture, hoping to strengthen cooperation with Chinese scholars in Chinese studies and Caucasus studies, Alizadeh said.

Wei Jinghua, Chinese ambassador to Azerbaijan, said that the collaboration between CASS, China’s most authoritative think tank, and ANAS, the primary body that conducts research in the fields of natural and social sciences in Azerbaijan, will spark off new ideas and inject vitality into economic and trade cooperation.

Pei Changhong, former director of the Institute of Economics at CASS, analyzed areas China and Azerbaijan should work on to promote economic and trade cooperation while highlighting Azerbaijan’s unique geographic advantages in shortening the distance along the overland Silk Road.

Yao Yu, a research fellow from the Institute of Economics at CASS, explained China’s experiences, policies and the approaches it uses to solve the problems of resourceexhausted cities in social and economic transition. At present, some traditional oil-producing regions in Azerbaijan also face the problem of resource exhaustion and can learn from the Chinese experience, he said.

Editor: Yu Hui

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