Belt and Road Initiative 'open and inclusive'

Updated: Mar 10, 2018 China Daily Print
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Chinese companies are also working with foreign partners such as United Technologies Corp, Emerson Electric, Volvo Construction Equipment and ABB Group to develop infrastructure in various economies covered by the initiative.

German industrial giant Siemens plans to open a Belt and Road Initiative office in Beijing this year to further pursue the opportunities generated by the initiative.

Cedrik Neike, a board member of Siemens, said the company will ramp up a companywide effort to continue teaming up with Chinese EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) partners to jointly explore businesses in countries and regions participating in the initiative.

Siemens has joined forces with more than 100 Chinese EPC players in exploring more than 60 overseas markets since 2016. Its partners include China National Petroleum Corp, the country's biggest oil producer, China Petroleum and Chemical Corp, and Power Construction Corp of China.

According to Neike, EPC contracts bagged by Chinese firms are worth around $125 billion. The German company forecasts the cumulative potential over the next decade will reach over $1 trillion.

Wang Chuanlin, another NPC deputy and general manager of China Tiesiju Civil Engineering Group, said many Chinese companies have already transferred their core business from EPC into new business models such as build-operate-transfer, and public-private-partnership for both public and private sectors in markets involved in the initiative.

Fang Qiuchen, president of the China International Contractors Association, which is based in Beijing and helps Chinese construction companies expand overseas, said global cooperation in infrastructure, logistics and production capacity has great potential.

"China's partners, in the early stages of the initiative, are mostly emerging economies and developing economies in the midst of industrialization. They are characterized by fast economic growth and enormous potential for future development," Fang said.

China's outbound investment in economies participating in the initiative climbed to $70 billion between 2014 and 2017, providing more than 200,000 jobs for local people, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

The National Development and Reform Commission released a document on Monday that said it will promote the healthy and orderly development of the China-Europe freight train service this year, as well as continue to develop a "digital Silk Road" and set up space information corridors.

The China Securities Regulatory Commission also announced this month that it will allow domestic and overseas companies to issue bonds on onshore stock exchanges to finance projects related with the initiative.

The Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges will carry out a pilot bond program. Government-backed institutions in economies involved in the initiative can also sell bonds in China, according to the country's top securities regulator.

Seven domestic and overseas companies have gained regulatory approval to issue bonds worth a total of 50 billion yuan ($7.9 billion), and four of them have already raised 3.5 billion yuan through bond issuances, according to the regulator.

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