Chinese listed firms seek opportunities along Belt and Road

May 16, 2017, 09:14
Chinese listed firms seek opportunities along Belt and Road

The "Belt and Road" project is China's biggest foreign initiative to date as Beijing looks for global stature to match its economic success.

"Hopefully (Belt and Road) is not a one-way street but a two-way", said Joerg Wuttke, president of the European chamber of commerce in Beijing.

China will provide emergency food aid worth 2 billion yuan to developing countries along the Belt and Road and make an additional contribution of 1 billion U.S. dollars to the Assistance Fund for South-South Cooperation, Xi said at the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.

Dozens of "Belt and Road" projects including railways and power plants have been launched since Xi unveiled the initiative in 2013.

"This is indeed a gathering of great minds", Xi said, addressing leaders including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

What is China's new Silk Road?

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David Kelly, the director of geopolitics at the Beijing-based consulting firm China Policy, tells The National: "BRI's extension to the United States may have been sold to Trump as a concession made by Beijing, similar to pledged investment by [the Chinese internet major] Alibaba's [founder and chairman] Jack Ma, with eventual announceables of new manufacturing jobs and construction projects".

China opened its Silk Road summit on Sunday to showcase its ambitious plans to revive ancient trade routes from Asia to Europe and Africa.

"Trade is the important engine of economic development", Mr Xi said at a summit of world leaders in Beijing.

North Korea relies heavily on trade with China for its economic survival, and US President Donald Trump has urged Xi to use that leverage to put pressure on Pyongyang.

According to Chinese government officials, at least 28 Heads of State and Government from around the world, including the presidents of Ethiopia and Kenya, are expected to attend the two-day forum in Beijing.

He said the initiative, pioneered by Chinese leader Xi Jinping gives developing countries space to have a say in the global economy, create jobs and prosperity.

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The ultimate plan is to build a network of new trade routes including multiple high-speed rail networks to Europe and ports across Asia and Africa.

Sharif, at the Summit, also avoided direct references to India's boycott and its objections to the CPEC but said the initiative should not be politicised. The fund is a state-owned investment vehicle of the Chinese government created to foster increased investment in countries along its planned economic corridors.

Establishment of the Havelian Dry Port in Pakistan.

"He further said that it has no geographical boundaries" and it must not be politicised.

"President Xi also expressed his willingness to work with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the BRICS New Development Bank and the World Bank to support Belt and Road related projects".

The initiative spans some 65 countries representing 60% of the world population and around a third of global gross domestic product.

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Gowher Rizvi, an adviser to the Bangladesh prime minister on global affairs, said recently that China has been immensely supporting Bangladesh in its economic development. "It is really grounded in certain objectives such as economic and financial realities", Rehman said.

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