Skip to main content

Silk Road presents more opportunities than infrastructure

http://www.dailymirror.lk/

2017-11-30 00:00:32

China’s Belt and Road (B&R) initiative is an ambitious undertaking that has the potential to reshape the global economy and transform world trade.

Many governments, multinational development organisations and international corporations welcome the opportunity to support the series of cross-border infrastructure projects.

With over 60 countries and 4.4 billion people included in the route passing from Asia to Africa, covering a third of world gross domestic product, the economic and financial benefits of B&R are likely to go beyond the countries getting new bridges, railway lines and roads.

Countries such as Singapore, which are well positioned along the Silk Road, will form crucial links between China and other countries along the route, helping drive B&R. But many corporations are either unsure of how they can be meaningfully involved or are doubtful that the initiative is relevant for organisations not in the business of building airports and roads. Others are concerned about the risk-return trade-offs of such investments, as they come with long payback periods.

These concerns are not without merit. It is important that organisations conduct proper due diligence and risk assessments before embarking on any venture. However, it is also critical that businesses, regardless of size and types of expertise, proactively seek B&R opportunities or they risk being left behind.

More inHome

Rains, gale force winds wreck havoc in Colombo

 

SLFP declines to quit Govt., talks on hold

 

COPE uncovers fraud involved in aircraft lease: Bimal

 

Delay in taking action against corruption

 

Beer from rice: JO demands cancellation of Gazette

Risk of being left behind

China’s mega project is less about the hard physical aspects of infrastructure than the connecting of businesses and populations. Instead of focusing on pure infrastructure ventures, companies need to consider the business opportunities better-connected B&R countries can offer, as the spillover effect is simply too large to ignore.

Increasingly, organisations across Asia need to view B&R as a business enabler in a region facing an ageing population and increased youth migration. Evolving demographics and urbanisation are expected to transform consumption patterns, changing the way goods and services are delivered as innovation takes shape.

For companies to take advantage of opportunities provided by B&R and changing demographic trends, collaboration and competitive differentiation are key.

Establishing your competitive edge

Smaller companies can partner with bigger conglomerates on B&R projects, which the former may otherwise not be able to secure or have the resources to take on singlehandedly.

And instead of competing head-on with Chinese companies with a greater advantage in capital-intensive construction projects, businesses with less construction expertise should focus on their competitive advantages. For businesses in Singapore, this includes competing in areas such as intellectual capital and local infrastructure-related consultancy services, such as designing policy frameworks and structuring projects to ensure appropriate returns on infrastructure investments.

China’s plan of a digital Silk Road, which requires the growth of telecoms infrastructure and networks, will also provide opportunities for online retail and digital businesses, as widespread access to Internet services will pave the way for greater cross-border e-commerce.

Brokering deals

Asian countries like Singapore, with their well developed financial capabilities, are likely to become important partners for China’s overseas infrastructure plans. Their renminbi capabilities will provide alternative products to major-currency funding options. Given its financial hub and shipping centre status, Singapore can also broker both capital and trade deals between China and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The B&R path ahead is worth travelling. The journey will require an open attitude and a global vision but as long as businesses are able to identify their niche and strengths, the B&R will present more opportunities than can be imagined.

(Patrick Lee is Managing Director and Head of Global Banking, Singapore, Standard Chartered Bank)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Balochistan to establish first medical university

https://www.dawn.com/news/1366135

The Newspaper's Staff CorrespondentOctober 25, 2017QUETTA: The provincial cabinet on Tuesday approved the draft for establishing a medical university in Balochistan.Health minister Mir Rehmat Saleh Baloch made the announcement while speaking at a press conference after a cabinet meeting.“The cabinet has approved the draft of the medical university which would be presented in the current session of the Balochistan Assembly,” he said, adding with the assembly’s approval the Bolan Medical College would be converted into a medical university.Published in Dawn, October 25th, 2017

5 Shia Hazara community members gunned down in Pakistan

http://m.hindustantimes.com/world-news/5-shia-hazara-community-members-gunned-down-in-pakistan/story-CHWR4lYByRHzf2KjHjMloI.html



Five members of the minority Shia Hazara community, including two women, were killed on Sunday in an attack by unidentified gunmen in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province.This is not the first time that members of the Hazara community have been targeted in Quetta and other parts of Balochistan.(Reuters File Photo)Updated: Sep 11, 2017 00:20 ISTBy Press Trust of India, Press Trust of India, KarachiFive members of the minority Shia Hazara community, including two women, were killed on Sunday in an attack by unidentified gunmen in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province.The gunmen targeted a car in Kuchluck area of Quetta while it was coming from the Chaman border crossing area, police said.The firing took place when the travellers had stopped at a filling station to refuel their vehicle. Five people of the Shia Hazara community, including two women, died in …

China’s 'Digital Silk Road': Pitfalls Among High Hopes

https://thediplomat.com/2017/11/chinas-digital-silk-road-pitfalls-among-high-hopes/


Will information and communication technologies help China realize its Digital Silk Road?By Wenyuan WuNovember 03, 2017In his speech at the opening ceremony of China’s 19th Party Congress, President Xi Jinping depicted China as a model of scientific and harmonious development for developing nations. Xi’s China wants to engage the world through commerce but also through environmental protection and technological advancement. This includes Beijing’s efforts to fight climate change with information and communication technologies (ICTs) that it plans to export along its “One Belt One Road” initiative (OBOR). Xi may have ambitious plans, but could China be throwing up obstacles in its own way?In his speech, the Chinese president emphasized the need to modernize the country’s environmental protections. The Chinese state is taking an “ecological civilization” approach to development and diplomacy, with a natio…