Belt and Road ‘offers golden opportunity to businesses and will help address climate change’

Dr Cheng Guoqiang, Secretary General at the Development Research Center of China’s State Council gave a keynote address at the World Chinese Economic Summit. Photo by Miles Willis

Dr Cheng Guoqiang, Secretary General at the Development Research Center of China’s State Council, gave a keynote address at the World Chinese Economic Summit, in which he said the Belt and Road initiative would help address climate change and trade protection issues. Photo by Miles Willis

Belt and Road ‘offers golden opportunity to businesses and will help address climate change’

25/11/15

By David Cowell

China’s Belt and Road initiative is designed to attract partners from across the world and benefit the global economic community, not just China, a senior Chinese policy advisor told the 7th World Chinese Economic Summit in London.

Dr Cheng Guoqiang, Secretary General at the Development Research Center of China’s State Council, also said the open and inclusive project would help address global climate change and trade protection issues and ultimately benefit two thirds of the world’s population.

“Even if countries are not in the geographical area, they can take part and share,” Cheng told delegates at The Savoy Hotel in a translated keynote speech.

“We want to make connections on an economic, political, international and human level,” he said at the two-day conference which was co-organised by Asia House and the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute.

The Belt and Road initiative aims to build new economic, trade, financial and cultural links from China through Central Asia to Europe and Africa, backed by hundreds of billions of dollars of investment in railways, highways, pipelines, ports and other infrastructure projects.

He said China was committed to being more open and the Belt and Road would help two thirds of the world’s population.

“Trade protection issues and climate change will be more easily addressed,” he stated.

“The principle is we do things together. The Belt and Road will do away with exclusiveness and discrimination,” Cheng said.

“The Belt and Road sees all sizes of countries as equal partners and is trying to expedite the development of poorer countries so that we can cut the gap between the so-called north and south,” he added.

The initiative would also help those countries still suffering from the 2008 global financial crash by creating a powerful engine for recovery.

“Transportation is a priority. A lot of countries have a lot to do to upgrade their infrastructure,” he said.

Malaysia’s Minister of Transport Dato’ Sri Liow Tiong Lai gave a Luncheon Keynote: 'The Belt and Road – What’s in it for Asia and Europe?' at the World Chinese Economic Summit.

Malaysia’s Minister of Transport Dato’ Sri Liow Tiong Lai gave a Luncheon Keynote: ‘The Belt and Road – What’s in it for Asia and Europe?’ at the World Chinese Economic Summit, in which he said the proposed economic belt offered golden opportunities to businesses. Photo by Miles Willis

Malaysia’s Minister of Transport Dato’ Sri Liow Tiong Lai also urged investors to embrace the Belt and Road, describing it as a “solution that will bring Asia and Europe closer, driven by greater connectivity.”

“As China breaks new ground with the Belt and Road initiative that promises economic integration and regional cooperation, we come closer to achieving truly inclusive growth not just for Asia, but for the rest of the world,” he said in his keynote address to the conference titled ‘The Belt and Road – what’s in it for Asia and Europe?’

“No one should miss out on this golden opportunity as China’s plan for a new Silk Road will require infrastructural investments of $160 billion and will, in time, generate annual trade volume exceeding $2.5 trillion,” he said.

“It is not an exaggeration to say that if businesses do not pay attention to the far-reaching implications of this regional economic development by China, they would not only lose business opportunities but also find their markets eroded.

“These are amazing opportunities for talent, for companies and for individuals across Asia and Europe,” he added, speaking at the two-day summit.

CEO of Asia House Michael Lawrence is pictured giving the vote of thanks at the 2015 World Chinese Economic Summit held in London. Photo by Miles Willis

CEO of Asia House Michael Lawrence is pictured addressing delegates at the 2015 World Chinese Economic Summit held in London. Photo by Miles Willis

 

David Cowell is a freelance business reporter. 

To read the other stories on the 2015 World Chinese Economic Summit which was held in November in London and for the first time co-organised by Asia House click here.