Sci-tech collaboration empowers Belt and Road Initiative

(Xinhua) 11:13, November 09, 2023

CHONGQING, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) -- Wajahi Hussain, a Pakistani student newly enrolled at Southwest University, Chongqing, is diligently immersing himself in the study of a unique potato variety, with a view to taking part in laboratory experiments.

He is pursuing a master's degree at the university, but his ultimate aim is to introduce this high-yield potato variety into his country.

Named Red Rose, the variety was developed by Southwest University for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) participating countries. According to Hussain, the yield of this variety is more than 30 percent higher than that of local potatoes in Pakistan.

The potato seedlings are now growing vigorously in a laboratory at the university's Integrative Science Center of Germplasm Creation in Western China (Chongqing) Science City.

"After completing my studies, I will go back to my country to work on potato crops and develop new varieties that will benefit the public and my country," Hussain said.

In 2020, a Belt and Road international innovation institute of potato industry was established as a collaboration between Southwest University, the International Potato Center-China Center for Asia Pacific and over 10 BRI countries, including Kazakhstan, Russia, Egypt and Iran. The institute is dedicated to joint efforts on germplasm creation, utilization and promotion.

Under the initiative, China has shared advanced technologies for potato cultivation and seed-potato quality control with participating countries, thereby boosting local potato production and improving the economic benefits for the local potato farmers.

In recent years, China has been injecting new vitality into the BRI through various activities, such as scientific cooperation, academic exchanges, talent mobility and technology transfers with BRI countries. This in-depth and multi-dimensional scientific collaboration has invigorated the further development of the BRI.

Since China proposed the BRI in 2013, scientific and technological cooperation has consistently been a highlight. Over the past decade, China has inked government-to-government agreements on scientific and technological cooperation with more than 80 BRI participating countries and has established intellectual property cooperation relationships with over 50 BRI countries.

Ghassan Karam, from the World Health Organization, said the BRI also contributes to international medical scientific and technological innovation, makes collaboration within the framework of international cooperation on scientific research more standardized and efficient, ensuring that it better meets the demands of clinical research to benefit people worldwide.

China regards scientific and technological development and cooperation as solutions to addressing global challenges and has been strengthening technological collaboration within the BRI framework, said Istvan Jakab, deputy speaker of the Hungarian National Assembly.

Speaking at the first Belt and Road Conference on Science and Technology Exchange in Chongqing, he said Hungary is looking forward to closer and more practical cooperation between the two sides within the context of the BRI.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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