Business / Economy

Belt and Road Initiative connects Chinese capabilities with UK expertise

(China Daily) Updated: 2016-05-26 08:26

Chinese and British companies are closely and successfully engaging in projects linked to the Belt and Road Initiative, demonstrating the complementarity of Chinese and UK expertise across the globe, a report showed.

A total of 21 examples of UK-China cooperation, in 10 countries with projects worth more than $27 billion, feature in a report jointly released in Beijing by the China-Britain Business Council and Tsinghua University on Wednesday.

The report includes case studies from some of the UK's most renowned companies such as HSBC Holdings Ltd, BP Plc, LME Ltd, Linklaters and KPMG, with the aim to encourage more British-Chinese partnerships on the enormous China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.

Around two-thirds of the world's population live in the countries that are linked by the Belt and Road Initiative. However, these same countries only account for one-third of the world's GDP. Infrastructure is key to the economic development along these routes and many opportunities exist for UK companies.

Lord Sassoon, chairman of the CBBC, said that Sino-UK companies' partnerships fall into three major categories-UK and Chinese firms jointly working on projects in third-country markets, Chinese firms using the UK as a platform for servicing projects in third-country markets, and UK firms providing professional advice or services to Chinese firms operating in unfamiliar, often risky, business environments.

"As this report shows, existing projects along the Belt and Road Initiative demonstrate synergy between Chinese and British firms," Sassoon said.

Chinese enterprises are experienced in building infrastructure, while entering unfamiliar, challenging and often risky business and geographical environments plays well to the expertise of UK firms, according to Giles Blackburne, editor of the report and CBBC executive director.

The case study report demonstrates powerful partnerships between British and Chinese companies that play to their unique strengths. HSBC, along with two Chinese banks, has provided debt facilities for a power plant in Bangladesh with the design, consultancy, engineering and construction expertise supplied by major Chinese enterprises. UK law firm Linklaters has provided legal services to Chinese banks involved in financing a coal mine and associated power station in Pakistan.

"We have witnessed the abundant business opportunities brought by the initiative, which increased investment, job creation and improved infrastructure conditions in the target regions," said Fang Jian, Linklaters' national managing partner for China.

It is vital that lessons are learned about regulatory, commercial and cultural differences while developing projects along the Belt and Road Initiative to make sure the demands of both parties are coordinated, Fang added.

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