Overcoming obstacles in Belt and Road cooperation
There remains certain restrictive factors in China's economic and trade cooperation with the countries taking part in the Belt and Road Initiative.
Although China and the relevant countries share common interests, they still have interest differentiation. China actively supports and takes part in globalization. But some developing countries attribute their economic difficulties to globalization.
Other countries have concerns over competition from China and resort to protectionism in their dealing with China.
There lacks effective protection of the cooperation between China and countries along the Belt and Road routes.
Some of the countries are weak in terms of their economy and government finance. Some suffer from instable politics, and the frequent changes of policies. The lack of transparency and the rule of law constitute big obstacles to the successful cooperation with them.
The chaos caused by wars and terrorism in some countries in the Middle East and Africa poses a direct threat to China's cooperation with them.
Also, some developed countries intentionally create obstacles or make troubles to hinder the Belt and Road cooperation.
China should strengthen the cooperation which leads to win-win results for all parties. The Chinese enterprises must pay attention to fulfilling their corporate social responsibilities, and adopt more flexible strategies to strike a balance in interest distribution among different parties.
The Chinese enterprises must attach more significance to cooperating with local enterprises, and abiding by local laws and rules.
The Chinese enterprises can explore the possibility of forming a community of common interests with relevant enterprises from both developing and developed countries to jointly cultivate the markets in the third-party countries.
Capital and manufacturing capacity are the strengths of the Chinese enterprises, advanced management and technology are the strengths of enterprises from the developed countries, and enterprises from the other developing countries can contribute their labor and natural resources.
This arrangement can share the potential risks and uncertainties among all participants. The Chinese enterprises can build up their learning curve quickly in this way, and try to operate independently when the time is right.
Meanwhile, the Chinese enterprises should protect the local environment and ecology in their development, so as to make their operation in the countries more sustainable.
The Chinese enterprises should increase their input in infrastructure construction and developing basic industries, which is in line with the interests of the countries and local people.
Constructing transport, telecommunication and energy infrastructure, which are strengths of China, can directly benefit partner countries' development and the peoples' livelihoods.
The Chinese enterprises should adopt the build-own-operation-transfer and the public-private-partnership models in their overseas projects, and pay attention to export their capital, management, production capacity and technology in the process.
China should cultivate more talents who are familiar with language, culture, religion and law in the countries along the Belt and Road routes.
(The article was first published by Contemporary Economy and Management. Lan Qingxin is a professor of economics at the University of International Business and Economics, and Han Yulai is a doctor in international economic research at the UIBE. The translator is Li Yang.)
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