SCIO briefing on development of Belt and Road Initiative

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Ning Jizhe, vice director of the Office of the Leading Group for the Belt and Road Initiative, deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission, head of the National Bureau of Statistics

Qian Keming, vice minister of commerce

Zhang Jun, assistant minister of foreign affairs

Hu Kaihong, spokesperson for the State Council Information Office of China

August 27, 2018

Economic Daily:

I would like to ask Mr. Ning a question. Presently, some developed countries and large multinational corporations have shown interest in participating in the Belt and Road Initiative in the form of the third-party market cooperation. What considerations does China have in this regard?

Ning Jizhe:

The tripartite cooperation is very important, so you raised a very good question

First of all, third-party market cooperation is an open, inclusive, pragmatic and effective mode for international cooperation. It also reflects the principle of the Belt and Road Initiative, namely seeking shared benefits through extensive consultation and joint contribution. This will help Chinese enterprises and enterprises in other countries, especially those of developed countries and multinational enterprises, to complement each other and jointly inject new momentum into the economic development of third countries.

Second, China has made good progress in working with relevant countries to promote third-party market cooperation and in recent years, China has actively engaged in third-party market cooperation with relevant countries. Presently, we have formally signed cooperative documents on third-party market cooperation with France, Canada, Japan, Singapore and some other countries and international organizations. We have also contributed to the establishment of third-party market cooperation funds with other countries. The following are some examples.

China's Silk Road Fund established a third-party market fund with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The China Investment Corporation also established funds with relevant French financial institutions. All these are being supported and guided by the governments of both sides. Moreover, the third-party market cooperative projects between China and France have achieved early results, and the two sides will expand their cooperation to new projects in the near future. China and the European Union (EU) have also finalized specific projects for third-party market cooperation.

As you all know, during Premier Li Keqiang's visit to Japan, China's National Development and Reform Commission and Ministry of Commerce and Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) reached a memorandum of understanding on the third-party market cooperation between the two sides. In order to implement the consensus and ministerial memorandum reached by the leaders of the two countries, we held a seminar on the Sino-Japanese-Thai tripartite cooperation in Thailand last month, possibly a little bit earlier, to finalize specific cooperative projects. The Eastern Economic Corridor of Thailand is led by the Chia Tai Group of Thailand and the CITIC Group of China, with enterprises from Japan participating in bidding the project.

Currently, some developed countries, such as the United Kingdom, and some emerging economies, including China, also share a sincere desire for third-party market cooperation worldwide in promoting the Belt and Road Initiative. This is not only conducive to China, the developed countries and the new economies who participate in the tripartite cooperation, but also conducive to the third country – the host country of the project.

Third, in the future, China will work with relevant countries and enterprises to expand the scope of third-party market cooperation. We will adhere to the principle of seeking shared benefits through extensive consultation and joint contribution, develop new markets for investment, production and operation, and actively innovate on models for cooperation. We will encourage enterprises to open up new markets by means of joint tendering and joint investment so as to complement each other's strengths and achieve win-win results. Thank you.

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