Chinese enterprises venturing abroad amid closer BRI cooperation

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, May 29, 2024
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Chinese enterprises are increasingly venturing into the global arena, a reflection of China's commitment to enhancing cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) framework.

The BRI, proposed by China in 2013, has initiated thousands of projects in more than 150 countries over the past years, injecting confidence and vitality into a world burdened with mounting protectionism through high-level openness and cooperation.

Against this backdrop, the 14th China Overseas Investment Fair, held in Beijing from Monday to Tuesday, drew over 2,200 business representatives from nearly 100 countries and regions to explore economic and trade opportunities through various activities organized during the event.

The annual event aims to serve as a platform for promoting two-way investment and fostering deeper cooperation in Belt and Road partner countries, with this year's fair themed "New Opportunities for Global Development, New Blueprints for Overseas Investment."

Centrally-administered state-owned enterprises, which are at the forefront of the nation's overseas expansion efforts, have significantly advanced the development of countries and regions participating in the BRI, particularly in infrastructure construction, transportation connectivity and resource development.

Xin Zongyi, vice president of China Energy Engineering International Construction Group, noted that the company has increased its investment in Kazakhstan markedly in recent years, recognizing the substantial opportunities arising from the country's focus on energy transition and sustainable green development.

Xin cited a noteworthy achievement during his speech. A cement plant project undertaken by the group in Kazakhstan has successfully eliminated the country's historical reliance on imported special cement, earning recognition from the Kazakhstani government, he said.

Looking ahead, the ultra-large energy enterprise is poised to actively pursue collaboration opportunities in the Central Asian countries in sectors including roads, railways, water management and green building materials, among others, aiming to better leverage China's strengths and capabilities to benefit these countries, Xin added.

In recent years, a growing chorus of Chinese private companies has opted to venture overseas in search of opportunities, as domestic competition heats up.

China's new-energy vehicle (NEV) industry has garnered great attention as it is not only thriving domestically but has also become a significant player in the international market.

Aion, an Electric Vehicle brand operating under China's Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC), is a prime example of these eager Chinese NEV companies that are actively marching into overseas markets.

Liu Feilei, board secretary of GAC Aion, said in an interview with Xinhua that the essence of a company's overseas expansion strategy is not just about exporting goods and technology, but rather is intricately linked to the optimization of local supply chains and industrial networks.

The BRI plays a pivotal role in facilitating international economic and trade relations, and it systematically promotes infrastructure development in Belt and Road partner countries, which has created a favorable environment for Chinese companies to conduct business overseas, according to Liu.

In March, the company officially debuted its flagship model, the AION Y, in the Nepalese market, marking a significant milestone. Additionally, the auto giant announced its intention of establishing an electric vehicle assembly plant in Indonesia, further expanding its presence in the Southeast Asian market.

Thanks to its efforts in expanding the global footprint, the company has secured the third position in global market share, trailing only behind BYD and Tesla.

Data from the Ministry of Commerce shows that China's non-financial outbound direct investment in countries participating in the BRI surged 20.4 percent year on year in the January-April period to total 77.77 billion yuan (about 10.94 billion U.S. dollars), indicating that the cooperation under the BRI framework is gaining steam.

"Chinese investment is of the utmost importance," said Vladimir Norov, former Secretary-General of Shanghai Cooperation Organization, in his keynote speech.

"We deeply appreciate the investment from the BRI, as this investment has significantly bolstered the development of the Central Asian region and accelerated advancements in high technology. These developments will further unlock the potential of countries in the region," Norov added.

He Zhenwei, president of the China Overseas Development Association, said the BRI is committed to building a community with a shared future for mankind, not only exporting products and technologies but also assisting partner countries in establishing their own industrial systems and achieving economic self-rejuvenation.

He also expressed his hope that Chinese enterprises venturing overseas would adhere to global Environmental, Social and Governance standards, thus bolstering China's positive image on the international stage.

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