Win with China: ‘Belt and Road’ and the opening up of China
By CGTN’s Wang Yue

Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a letter of congratulations to this year’s Fortune Global Forum that China would develop the open economy to a higher level, promote the Belt and Road Initiative, and push for a new pattern of all-round opening up.

The Belt and Road Initiative plays a big role in China’s globalization strategy. While people always focus on its going-out content, Sun Wei, Co-CEO of Asia Pacific and China CEO at Morgan Stanley said this initiative is also about bringing-in.

Sun Wei (R), Co-CEO of Asia Pacific and China CEO at Morgan Stanley /CGTN Photo

The initiative is a kind of “economic diplomacy," a phrase used by Sun. China is exporting its capacity and enhancing its soft power through cooperation along the Belt and Road.

Official statistics show that over the last three years, 47 Chinese SOEs have taken part in 1,676 projects in countries and regions along the Belt and Road spanning energy, infrastructure and industrial cooperation.

So far Chinese businesses have helped build 75 economic and trade cooperation zones in 24 countries along the Belt and Road, generating over 209,000 jobs. And during the first 10 months of 2017, Chinese investors put forward 11.2 billion US dollars in 53 countries and regions along the Belt and Road.

VCG Photo

Meanwhile, China’s objectives are not limited to improve its presence. The world's largest developing country is also focused on bringing-in, Sun mentioned.

China is expected to import 24 trillion US dollars worth of goods, attract two trillion US dollars of inbound direct investment, and make two trillion US dollars of outbound investment in the next 15 years.

Sun said international investors and company leaders attending the forum are positive about China’s investment environment, as they are witnessing a stable investing environment in China, and are getting more transparency on policy and regulation.

Moreover, Chinese tech tycoon Jack Ma also made suggestions, during the forum, to foreign companies who want to better tap into the China market, adding they should be more patient about investments into the country and have a long-term commitment.

"Bringing capital and management staff is not enough. They should also bring technology and talents," he said.

Jack Ma in Guangzhou Fortune Global Forum /VCG Photo

While the future of investing in China is brighter, Chinese investment going overseas seems to be dark. China's non-financial outbound direct investment fell 40.9 percent year on year in the first ten months. Chinese companies are facing new regulations and more guidance when they carry out overseas M&A.

But, Sun kept “hopeful” on the future of Chinese investment overseas, as the corporate demand is strong and good deal still gets approved. “I think 2018 will not see significant drop,” Sun added.

More stories from the Win with China series: 

Win with China: China acts as a defender of globalization

Win with China: Philips CEO sees company a local player in China

Win with China: Guangzhou an emerging innovation hub

Win with China: Foreign banks opine ‘China still one market we can’t dismiss’

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