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Belt and Road a big lure for execs

Chai Hua
Updated: Mar 3,2017 10:53 AM     China Daily

A major survey shows that over 58 percent of China’s executives see big investment opportunities emanating from the Belt and Road Initiative.

The China section of its global 20th CEO survey, launched by accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) on March 2, also found they regarded the initiative as a key part of their business expansion strategy.

The report was based on a survey of 182 executives based in Chinese mainland and Hong Kong in 2016, covering financial service, technology, retail and manufacturing industries.

Charles Chow, lead partner of PwC’s Shenzhen office, said companies in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, has shown growing interest to invest in countries along the Belt and Road trading routes.

He noted that small and medium-sized private groups are looking for opportunities with mergers and acquisitions covering various industries, including transportation, logistics and energy.

The Belt and Road Initiative, unveiled by President Xi Jinping in 2013, aims to connect China with more than 65 economies through trade and financial integration.

Last year, the value of capital projects and M&A deals in seven core infrastructure sectors across those economies reached nearly $494 billion, one third of which was contributed by China, according to a previous report by the global auditing firm.

Rather than using its accounting services, Chow said more and more companies had approached him for investigations into investment targets.

The report also said that increasing trade cooperation among Belt and Road countries is expected to lead to substantial demand in international trade financing services in the banking sector as well.

Wang Guoqing, spokesperson for the fifth session of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, said on March 2 that the initiative had created plenty of revenue and employment for these countries.

He said that it had attracted more than 100 countries to participate and more than 40 of them had signed cooperation agreements. In addition, 56 economic and trade cooperation zones had been set up with cumulative investments totaling $18 billion.

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