Author Topic: China’s One Belt, One Road: Will it reshape global trade?  (Read 3298 times)

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See also: Now . . . the ugly, One Belt, One Road

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China’s One Belt, One Road: Will it reshape global trade?

http://www.mckinsey.com/global-themes/china/chinas-one-belt-one-road-will-it-reshape-global-trade

One of the biggest stories in Asian business is China’s One Belt, One Road initiative, an economic and diplomatic program that could transform trade.

The future of trade in Asia could depend heavily on what becomes of China’s expansive One Belt, One Road initiative, which calls for massive investment in and development of trade routes in the region. In this episode of the McKinsey Podcast, recorded in May, McKinsey senior partners Joe Ngai and Kevin Sneader talk with Cecilia Ma Zecha about One Belt, One Road—what it really means, what it needs to become a reality, and why people should take it seriously.

< Edited >

Kevin Sneader: At one level, One Belt, One Road has the potential to be perhaps the world’s largest platform for regional collaboration. What does that actually mean? There are two parts to this, the belt and the road, and it’s a little confusing. The belt is the physical road, which takes one from here all the way through Europe to somewhere up north in Scandinavia. That is the physical road. What they call the road is actually the maritime Silk Road, in other words, shipping lanes, essentially from here to Venice. Therefore it’s very ambitious—potentially ambitious—covering about 65 percent of the world’s population, about one-third of the world’s GDP, and about a quarter of all the goods and services the world moves.

That is what’s at the core of this—at least a potential trading route. The belt, the physical road, and the maritime Silk Road would re-create the shipping routes that made China one of the world’s foremost powers many, many years ago.

Cecilia Ma Zecha: Joe, why is this important now?

Joe Ngai: China is seeing a bit of a slowing down in its growth. A lot of people are saying that that’s part of the next growth wave of Chinese exports, which is that it’s going to have its influence and its infrastructure build-out in many of these countries, most of them emerging markets, in lots of things that frankly have fueled the very high growth in China over the past decade.

Senior partners Kevin Sneader and Joe Ngai discuss the complex vision of One Belt, One Road and its potential impact.

What remains to be seen is if that can be replicated in many of these countries in the next ten years. That is very significant. Because many of these countries are really lacking in this infrastructure. I remember when I take groups of delegates into China; they always marvel at the trains, the railway stations, the airports, and all that, which frankly is a bit of a miraculous creation in the past two decades.

The question is going to be how these are financed: whether there is going to be long-term planning that’s required, and whether the local governments and the state governments are able to take the Chinese model and the Chinese infrastructure and figure out how they can have their own version.

Kevin Sneader: Some people have talked about this being the second Marshall Plan. It’s worth recalling that the Marshall Plan, which obviously was at the heart of the regeneration of Europe after the Second World War, was one-twelfth the size of what is being contemplated in the One Belt, One Road initiative.

So the question is the scale. The ambition is enormous, and the sums of money are equally enormous. That is why I think whether this initiative is successful will have two parts to it. One will be that the funds are indeed available and that governments are willing to deploy them.

The second is that the money can actually be deployed wisely. There is a real risk that this becomes a source of funding that gets misdeployed and doesn’t end up contributing to greater trade or greater economic collaboration but just gets wasted on projects that really should never have been funded in the first place.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2018, 01:03:37 PM by adroth »

adroth

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Re: China’s One Belt, One Road: Will it reshape global trade?
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2017, 12:34:22 AM »







adroth

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Re: China’s One Belt, One Road: Will it reshape global trade?
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2017, 12:51:13 AM »
Duterte expects 'more help' from China to develop PH
Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 29 2017 09:11 PM

http://news.abs-cbn.com/news/04/29/17/duterte-expects-more-help-from-china-to-develop-ph

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday said he expects more help from China when he attends the "One Belt, One Road" (OBOR) summit next month.

Speaking at a press briefing after the 30th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit, Duterte mentioned grants committed by China for at least two bridges in the Philippines.

“We’ve been promised about two or three bridges. That is before the coming One Belt, One Road conference. I expect that I can, not really get something out of it, but maybe more help to develop my country,” Duterte said.

Since assuming the presidency, Duterte has sought to thaw ties with China, which got frozen under the previous administration due to the South China Sea dispute.

< Edited >

Duterte paid a visit to China last October, bringing home $24 billion dollars in investment pledges.

In May, Duterte will again set foot in China to attend the summit on China’s “New Silk Road” plan.

China has poured billions of dollars for its “One Belt, One Road” infrastructure initiative which aims to improve links between Asia, Africa, and Europe.

< Edited >
« Last Edit: July 13, 2018, 01:46:18 PM by adroth »

adroth

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Re: China’s One Belt, One Road: Will it reshape global trade?
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2017, 12:09:00 AM »
Belt & Road Forum achieves 270 deliverables -- President Xi
By Jelly F. Musico May 16, 2017

http://www.pna.gov.ph/index.php/articles/988044

BEIJING, May 16 (PNA) – A total of 76 agreements comprising more than 270 major deliverable results in five key areas of cooperation have been achieved during the successful Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held on May 14-15 here.

”We have put together a list detailing more than 270 major deliverables of the forum,” Chinese President Xi Jinping said in his late afternoon press briefing Monday.

President Xi said the more than 270 concrete results have been reached under the team Belt and Road efforts, boosting the confidence of all parties in enhanced cooperation.

< Edited >

During the first Belt and Road Forum, Xi said China signed multiple new agreements with relevant parties in five key areas namely, policy, infrastructure, trade, financial and people-to-people connectivity.

< Edited >

Some of the major agreements signed are economic and trade cooperation between China and governments of 30 countries including the Philippines, and cooperation documents with the United Nations and other international organizations.

The Export-Import Bank of China has signed Strategic Cooperation Framework Agreement regarding lines of credit with the Philippines’ Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company.

On the other hand, China Development Bank will conduct financing and bond underwriting cooperation with various foreign banks, including Metrobank of the Philippines.

< Edited >

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Re: China’s One Belt, One Road: Will it reshape global trade?
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2017, 03:42:53 PM »
Interview with H.E. Jose Santiago Sta. Romana
5/12/2017

https://youtu.be/7RiRXo6cy8Q


adroth

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Re: China’s One Belt, One Road: Will it reshape global trade?
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2018, 04:31:18 PM »
Winning Hearts on China’s Belt and Road

Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative needs to win hearts, not just projects, in Southeast Asia.
By Gatra Priyandita and Trissia Wijaya
May 04, 2018
 
https://thediplomat.com/2018/05/winning-hearts-on-chinas-belt-and-road/

Five years have passed since China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was first announced in Kazakhstan, and it continues to have a serious image problem. Considering the huge debts piling up on infrastructure projects in Laos and Sri Lanka, concerns about Chinese intentions are not unfounded. The Center for Global Development recently published a list of seven additional countries that are at risk of excessive lending. Such cases are easy ammunition for opponents of Chinese projects in Southeast Asia and, increasingly, opponents of the BRI in Southeast Asia have been using the narrative of geopolitics to destabilize Chinese projects.

< Edited >

When the two components of the BRI — the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Maritime Silk Road – were announced for the first time, Southeast Asia was naturally considered one of its central nodes. In fact, Xi Jinping made his announcement of the Maritime Silk Road in Jakarta in 2013, as the first foreign leader to address to the Indonesian legislature. The amount of diplomatic capital Beijing injected to this initiative has been significant. High-level summits involving China now often carry the BRI’s name and often end up with an agreement on concretizing outcomes on infrastructural development.

Considering the grand ambition of the project, and a general distrust of Chinese intentions in Southeast Asia, it’s not difficult to see that perceptions of the BRI have been mixed in the region, and many see China as paving the way for a Sinocentric global order. In particular, Beijing’s willingness to invest in cash-strapped projects have brought concerns that China is purposely doing so to in order to seize these projects for military purposes down the road. However, Southeast Asian governments have, by and large, accepted the flow of Chinese investment for their many infrastructure projects. Funding from the BRI adds to the legitimacy of ruling governments, many of which have made improving infrastructure a key priority. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak are among the BRI’s biggest supporters in Southeast Asia and have received large amounts of investments from China for ambitious residential and connectivity projects. The BRI has also found great support in Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s biggest country. “The BRI presents significant opportunities for the future of Indonesian trade and connectivity,” one Indonesian minister told the authors, “so we should just accept it.”

Nonetheless, the sensitivity over China’s presence in the region remains large. While neither Japan nor the United States are entirely deemed “benevolent” by Southeast Asian states, China’s image as a hegemonic power remains far more protuberant within some strategic circles. This is in part due to Chinese actions in the South China Sea, which have sometimes hampered Beijing’s charm offensive in Southeast Asia. Second, particularly in the case of Southeast Asia, the so-called “China threat” narrative is still very much alive and has its roots to more recent Cold War-era experiences of Chinese support for communist movements in the region.

The large presence of ethnic Chinese populations is also a factor contributing to Sino-Southeast Asian relations. In many parts of Southeast Asia, there is considerable resentment over economic grievances toward local ethnic Chinese populations. Ethnic Chinese populations have long been associated with corruption, rent-seeking practices and exploitation —  images that could easily take hold in parts of Southeast Asia where locals feel that they are not benefiting from the infrastructural projects built. Consequently, the ideologically-driven critique toward China is easily mobilized and in some parts of the region, the “China threat” narrative has traction. Take the case of Malaysia and the claims made by Najib’s opponents that BRI projects facilitate a Chinese “colonization” of the country.

Chinese Companies and Perceptions of China

Chinese companies face some unique disadvantages when investing in Southeast Asia, and due to poor perceptions of China in some circles, they can make easy scapegoats. Chinese companies have long attempted to address concerns about their presence by initiating humanitarian activities, such as by building schools and hospitals, assisting flood victims, and investing in local education. Their contributions no doubt have an impact on local communities, but China’s image remains tainted by challenges that are currently distinguished from those faced by other major investors, such as Japan and the United States.

First, Chinese companies must be warier over the business partners they work with. Many Chinese companies new to Southeast Asia often have little knowledge on the legal obligations and business customs abroad, preferring instead to pledge tremendous amount of trust to members of local business or political elites in Southeast Asia. The problem is that sometimes they cooperate with “problematic” Southeast Asian figures that could end up associating China (the state) with controversy. Such was the case when the Hanergy Holding Group and Gold Water Resources worked together with the Asia World Company — a Chinese-Burmese company accused of partaking in the heroin trade and money laundering — for the construction of the Kunlong/Upper Salween Dam. The Asia World Company turned out to have a fairly poor reputation in the country, as some of their construction projects (most notably the 100-km highway from Hsenwi to Kunlong in China) have led to flooding, contamination of water resources, and were rooted in land-grabs.

Second, Chinese companies should be more careful in studying the locations of their businesses and assessing the political and social impacts of their economic projects. There is some tendency for Chinese companies to value quick decisionmaking and efficiency, and there is often less attention to details, leading to economic projects that backfire. For instance, the decision to construct the 10,000-hectare Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone in Laos is rife with problems, as the area is still fairly lawless and illicit activities — like gambling, prostitution, and drugs — continue to flourish. While the objective has been to root such illegal activities, the project remains replete with problems as crime continues to prosper. There is also the case of Chinese investment in the Letpadaung Copper Mine in Myanmar, which since its construction in 2011, has been plagued with problems ranging from accusations regarding poor compensation of villagers residing in the area to health problems. Villagers have responded with protests, including one incident in 2012 when police officers shut down protests with phosphorus gas — damaging China’s already-tainted image in the region.

Third, Chinese firms must work on improving their image by respecting and understanding local histories and customs. A dilemma faced by many Chinese companies is that they are not used to coping with lower productivity levels in some Southeast Asian countries, meaning that some have preferred to bring Chinese laborers to do jobs that would otherwise have gone to local Southeast Asians. The problem, of course, is that it creates the narrative that Chinese laborers are “flooding” into Southeast Asia, sparking the kinds of anxiety that could endanger not only Chinese projects but also ethnic Chinese Southeast Asians. As some Chinese companies are not accustomed to following laws that require offering contracts or insurances, local laborers have sometimes been laid off without compensation, leading to growing distrust among the local populace. Such was the case in 2017, when Indonesian labor unions staged large protests in front of the Chinese embassy over the firing of Indonesian laborers.

< Edited >

Xi once quoted an African proverb, “if you want to go fast, walk alone; and if you want to go far, walk together.” China has an image problem in Southeast Asia and it must learn to cope with it by winning the region’s hearts and minds.

< Edited >
« Last Edit: July 13, 2018, 04:54:29 PM by adroth »

adroth

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Re: China’s One Belt, One Road: Will it reshape global trade?
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2018, 09:50:16 AM »
PTV co-produces ‘Belt and Road’ special with China, Laos media
By Greggy Eugenio October 1, 2018, 12:15 am

http://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1049571

BEIJING, China — The People’s Television Network (PTV-4) is co-producing a TV special showcasing the “One Belt, One Road” initiative, with the China Global Television Network (CGTN) and the Lao National Television (LNTV).

The program, entitled “Vision into Reality,” will be airing on October 3. It is produced in celebration of the One Belt One Road's fifth anniversary next month.

Chen Pan, producer of the CGTN’s World Insight, said the show seeks to create a global audience branding among members of the Belt and Road News Alliance.

“Because it's the 5th year anniversary since China officially proposed the BRI, and we started the planning to see what we can do. And CGTN wants (a) better branding (for the) global audience, so we were thinking of (a) co-production with other int'l media organizations. And we made it happen with the help from Hu Chuqiao from Belt and Road News Alliance which is also a dept of CCTV. We talked to her and we decided to try to have a gathering of its TV members,” Chen said.

The Philippines and Laos, both Southeast Asian countries, were chosen to co-produce the show, based on good investment and cooperation under the BRI.

“We tried to find countries that have good BRI investment and cooperation. The Philippines is one of the best choices since we have a lot of projects launched or about to launch. And it'll be very news-worthy as we improved our relations since President (Rodrigo) Duterte took office. What's more (is) his ‘Build, Build, Build’ really echoes with BRI,” Chen said.

CGTN premier TV host Tian Wei will be co-hosting with Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar and LNTV’s news anchor Silaphet Souphaksone.

Three guest speakers were also invited to discuss the concrete BRI cooperations and projects. They are Ivan Frank Olea, minister and consul general of the Embassy of the Philippines to China, Lattanamany Khounnivong, vice minister of public works and transport of Laos, and Professor Fu Jun, academic dean of the Institute of South-South Cooperation and Development at Peking University.

As part of the BRI’s people-to-people exchange aspect, various cultural performances from China, Philippines and Laos will be showcased on the TV show.

In Oct. 3, 2013, President Xi Jinping proposed the One Belt, One Road Initiative or the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st century Maritine Silk Road to the world, with a goal of boosting connectivity and cooperation with more than 100 countries and world organizations in Europe, Asia and Africa.

The TV special will be aired on PTV-4 on October 3, 10 p.m.

Aside from China and Laos, it will be also aired in the United States, United Kingdom and Africa as CGTN covers the respective countries.

Click the link for the teaser video of the “Vision into Reality” show: https://youtu.be/XGDN5EvN374

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Re: China’s One Belt, One Road: Will it reshape global trade?
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2018, 03:06:16 PM »
China is not funding 'vanity projects' in Africa, Chinese President Xi Jinping says

Chinese funds are not for "vanity projects" in Africa but are to build infrastructure that can remove bottlenecks in the continent's development, said Chinese President Xi Jinping.

From 2000 to 2016, China loaned around $125 billion to Africa, data from the China-Africa Research Initiative (CARI) at Washington's Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies showed.

Published 1:10 AM ET Mon, 3 Sept 2018

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/09/03/chinas-president-xi-jinping-on-belt-and-road-initiative-in-africa.html

Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Monday that Chinese funds are not for "vanity projects" in Africa but are to build infrastructure that can remove bottlenecks in the continent's development.

Speaking at a business forum ahead of the start of a once-every-three-years China Africa summit, Xi said: "Resources for our cooperation are not to be spent on any vanity projects, but in places where they count the most."

"Inadequate infrastructure is believed to be the biggest bottleneck to Africa's development," he added.

Chinese officials say this year's summit will strengthen Africa's role in Xi's Belt and Road initiative to link China by sea and land through an infrastructure network modelled on the old Silk Road with southeast and central Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa.

< Edited >

It is the most significant contributor to high debt risks in three African countries: Congo Republic, Djibouti, and Zambia, CARI said last week.

< Edited >

China has denied engaging in "debt trap" diplomacy, but Xi is likely to use the gathering of African leaders to offer a new round of financing, following a pledge of $60 billion at the last summit three years ago in South Africa.

Ethiopia and Zambia, heavy borrowers from China, have expressed desire to restructure that debt, while bankers believe Angola and Congo Republic have already done so, though details are sparse.

< Edited >

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Re: China’s One Belt, One Road: Will it reshape global trade?
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2019, 03:48:05 PM »
Belt & Road news platform launched
By Kris Crismundo  April 23, 2019, 6:46 pm

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1067875

BEIJING -- An online news platform focusing on stories about the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was launched here Tuesday, in time for the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF).

People’s Daily, the biggest and official newspaper group of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, has initiated the establishment of Belt and Road News Network (BRNN). It also led the putting up BRNN’s official website.

More than 30 media organizations from Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, Middle East, and Eurasia attended the BRNN First Council Meeting in Beijing to discuss and finalize the 2019-2020 Work Plan of the Council.

< Edited >