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  • The global economy is yet to rebound responsively from the profound impact of the international financial crisis, while the world today faces rising protectionism, anti-globalization as well as fragmented trade arrangements and mounting economic tensions. This is the background for the proposition of the Belt and Road conception. The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road Initiative (the Belt & Road Initiative) was first put forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013 during his state visits to Kazakhstan and Indonesia. The concept is basically targeting for a modern transnational network that promotes collaboration and common development among all the parties involved. The core of the Initiative lies in the comprehensive and collaborated efforts to promote trade and infrastructure construction for sustained economic growth on the global scale. The cornerstones for the Initiative can be described in the five dimensions: • Policy coordination • Facilities connectivity • Unimpeded trade • Financial integration • People-to-people bond To seek further collaboration, the high-profile Belt and Road Forum will be held in Beijing from May 14 to 15, which is expected to welcome more than 1,200 people from 110 countries around the world and representatives from more than 60 international organizations, focusing on trade and infrastructure plan towards a shared future for Asia, Europe and Africa. During the 100 days count-down press interview, State Councilor Mr. Yang Jiechi briefs over the preparation for the Summit and elaborates the significance of this internationally attended event from the design of the topics to its relation with G20 Summit and APEC Leaders’ Meeting. As a matter of fact, China released a national action plan on standards connectivity (2015-2017) to boost the Belt and Road Initiative, highlighting that standards are basis for enhanced connectivity between countries and common language for international collaboration. This issue spotlights on the Belt and Road Initiative and the essential role of standards in the enhancement of connectivity at the policy, infrastructure, trade, finance and civil levels. In a signed article on People’s Daily, IEC Vice-President Dr. Shu Yinbiao who is the Chairman of SGCC underlines the fundamental role of standards for the implementation of the Initiative. The Dialogue with Mr. Rhys Davies, Chairman of ISO/TC 251, Asset management, focuses on the management of assets and risks which arouse increasing concern over various uncertainties. Mr. Rhys shares his insight into the true value of asset management through standardization. With the Qingdao International Forum on Standardization approaching, preparations are now well underway, expected to attract global attention in late June.
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