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China to invest heavily in Belt and Road countries

By MA SI | China Daily | Updated: 2017-05-13 06:00

China will pour more investment into countries and regions related to the Belt and Road Initiative to boost international cooperation in production capacity, a senior official with the nation's top economic planning body said on Friday.

"Chinese outbound investment is forecast to total $600 billion to $800 billion over the next five years, a fairly large proportion of which will go into markets related to the Belt and Road Initiative," said Ning Jizhe, vice-minister of the National Development and Reform Commission, at a news conference.

Expanding cooperation in production capacity is an important vehicle for promoting the Belt and Road Initiative, Ning said. It has further opened up China's economy and let each country use its comparative strength to help shape a more balanced and inclusive global industrial chain.

"Countries and regions related to the Belt and Road have become an important destination for China's investment, equipment, technology and services," Ning said.

From 2013 to 2016, Chinese companies invested over $60 billion in the countries and regions, creating more than 180,000 local jobs, and paid $1.1 billion in tax to local governments. High-speed railways and nuclear power have been among the first technologies exported to other markets.

China has inked a deal with Indonesia to build the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway. The China-Laos railway is under construction and work on the China-Thailand railway is being accelerated.

The China National Nuclear Corp also has been building nuclear reactors using its own Hualong One technology for the Karachi nuclear power plant in Pakistan.

Xin Guobin, vice-minister of industry and information technology, said China's manufacturing companies are accelerating their overseas expansion efforts, fueled by the Belt and Road Initiative.

In 2016, they invested $31 billion abroad, accounting for 18.3 percent of China's total outbound investment, up 6.2 percentage points from a year earlier.

"China has fully developed production capacity in many sectors and made-in-China equipment is widely adaptable, which makes it increasingly popular in the international arena," Xin said.

State-owned companies like China Merchants Group and China Railway Rolling Stock Corp, as well as Wison Engineering and the Jinglong Group from the private sector, have teamed up with global companies, officials said.

Bai Ming, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, the think tank of the Ministry of Commerce, said many countries and regions related to the Belt and Road Initiative have lots of resources but lack enough capital.

"China's investment and technology are exactly what they need to make the best use of their resources and boost cooperation in production capacity," Bai said.

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