Business / Economy

Information sharing key to Belt and Road prosperity

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-07-15 16:54

BEIJING - As infrastructure development progresses steadily for the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative -- a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia, Europe, and Africa -- breaking the barriers of information asymmetry has emerged as a key task.

Roads and railways are easy enough to build, but it is hard to cultivate an open and transparent market environment. Accurate and comprehensive information-sharing mechanisms and platforms are needed to help investors find trade and investment opportunities and avoid risks and traps in their targeted markets.

Quality information exchange is the foundation for achieving the initiative's five major goals of promoting policy coordination, connectivity in facilities, unimpeded trade, financial integration and people-to-people bonds because of its importance in making decisions and avoiding risks.

Investment and trade cooperation are major tasks in building the Belt and Road. However, information asymmetry has stood in their way as different political, cultural, legal, social and market environments can confuse foreign investors.

The orderly and free flow of economic factors, efficient allocation of resources and deep integration of markets rely on effective sharing of trade, investment and other valuable information to help match market demand and supply.

An open and sound information-sharing mechanism should be based on big data and include databases, business connection platforms, consulting services as well as information collection, publication, screening and other customized services to help investors gain insight and expand their influence in their targeted markets.

Countries along the Belt and Road should improve information exchange, mutual recognition of regulations, and mutual assistance in law enforcement. They should increase bilateral and multilateral cooperation in the fields of certification and accreditation, standard measurement, and statistics.

They should also enhance cross-border exchange and cooperation between credit investigation regulators, credit investigation institutions and credit rating institutions to achieve comprehensive review of investment risks.

Information has become a core resource and is crucial to international cooperation. It is time to build an "information Silk Road" to digitally connect countries and investors in the region to encourage understanding and growth.

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