Building healthcare infrastructure in BRI countries
Updated 22:33, 17-Jun-2020
By Wu Guoxiu

By bringing together thousands of private sector leaders as the world faces the COVID-19 pandemic, this virtual Leader Summit of the United Nations (UN) Global Compact is seen as an opportunity to reflect on how businesses can support countries and communities around the world to "recover better, stronger, and together" from the crisis.

"We are facing a health crisis, as well as economic and social crisis, with no parallel in the history of the United Nations. I'm encouraged to see so many companies so many sizes from so many countries and sectors, recognizing the urgent need for global unity and international cooperation", says UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the summit opening.

"Now more than ever, as big decisions are made about our future, companies need to address environmental, social, and governance risks holistically and move beyond business as usual", he added.

Virtual Leader Summit of the UN Global Compact on June 15-16. /Photo provided by UN Global Compact

Virtual Leader Summit of the UN Global Compact on June 15-16. /Photo provided by UN Global Compact

Dr. Gauden Galea, chief representative of the World Health Organization, said the pandemic in the past five months made the world realize the importance of unity. "But in terms of the business people are watching, there are a few things in the middle between these dark and light. I would see preparedness as an industry surveillance, data science, supplies", he said.

The summit launched the Action Platform on Sustainable Infrastructure for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to accelerate Sustainable Development Goals. As its first research fruit, a white paper was issued on building sustainable and resilient healthcare infrastructure in Belt and Road countries. It lists over 50 opportunity spots that companies can participate in with innovative ideas, including case examples against the pandemic.

"Major Chinese companies are taking actions to enhance international collaboration, geared towards building global and regional storage centers of anti-epidemic supplies, setting up global humanitarian emergency response warehouses and hubs, striving for stabilizing global supply chains and contributing global public goods. This is even more important and urgent in BRI countries, where most developing countries are spread", said Ren Hongbin, vice chairman of China's State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council, who is also a UN Global Compact Board Member.

The action platform is expected to serve as a key international mechanism to facilitate the business community's contribution to increasing investment and promoting sustainable infrastructure along the Belt and Road countries.