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This week’s top BRI news

Source: Belt & Road Advisory

Our BRI Briefing summarizes and analyzes key news related to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) over the last week.

This week’s top BRI news

Xi Jinping keynotes at CIIE: Xi Jinping keynotes at the long-awaited China International Import Exposition. He said China would continue to open up and become a key destination for the world’s imports. However, there were no major opening up announcements. Xi did say however that China would import $30tn and $10tn of goods and services over the next 15 years. These are large numbers but do not represent sizable deviations from the current trajectory China is on.
 
Big deals signed at CIIE: More than 3500 firms attended the China International Import Exposition this past week, showcasing their products. Some huge deals have been signed at CIIE. Sinopec alone reportedly spent $45bn. Foreign companies have benefited. E.g. Rolls Royce signed $1.45bn deal with China Eastern, Standard Chartered signs $1.6bn deal with China Poly over the next 2 years.
 
Australia launches Asia Pacific infrastructure fund: Australia launched a $1.5 billion dollar fund to counter China in the Pacific. The new fund will invest in infrastructure and other developmental projects. China responded that Beijing and Canberra should work together on such projects.
 
China and Russia further strengthen cooperation: Li and Russian PM Medvedev met on Wednesday. They witnessed the signing of nine agreements to promote cooperation in areas such as energy, agriculture, customs clearance Premierandaerospace.
 
And all other BRI news…
 
Trade and Investment
 
US trade deficit expands again: US trade deficit increases more than expected in October and is now up 10% in 2018. The deficit with China is at record levels. Many US importers are front-loading their purchases before even higher tariffs come in.
 
Tariffs begin to bite: Data from UBS shows US imports of Chinese goods listed in the initial $34 billion of tariffs have fallen by 30%. The analysts said it's too early to calculate the effect on an additional $200 billion of tariffs implemented on September 24.
 
Xi offers support for private business:After Xi gave a speech last week promising to support the development of private businesses, the Supreme Court yesterday pledged to strengthen protection of private property rights and create a fair legal environment. Following that, Xi conducted an inspection tour of Shanghai on Tuesday and Wednesday. He called for Shanghai officials to prioritize the development of the private sector.
 
Politics

Xi and Khan meet for the first time:President Xi and Pakistan PM Imran Khan met in Beijing over the weekend and agreed to strengthen their all-weather partnership. A Guard of Honour + a trip to the People’s Monument where Khan laid down a wreath were other highlights
 
Malta and China sign BRI: Amemorandum of understanding on the Belt and Road Initiative has been signed between Malta and China.
 
Projects

Hunan announces BRI fund: sometimes think Belt and Road Peopleisorchestrated from the top. It’s not. Chinese companies, banks, cities, counties and provinces all have their own BRI strategies. For example, Hunan province just announced a new 20bnrmb BRI fund
 
Chinese banks and BRI: commercial banks have issued more than 200 billion U.S. dollars of loans to support over 2,600 Belt and ChineseRoad  projects in transportation, infrastructure, equipment export, and other fields.
 
Hungary to tap into BRI: Hungary is to deploy 8 new intermodal yards; seven in the countryside and one near #Budapest to accommodate rail freight traffic from the Far East to Europe. It is seeking to become an eastern European gateway for Belt and Road

CPEC project nears completion: The first phase of a crucial CPEC energy project in Pakistan is scheduled to be put into operation next year, benefiting 2 million local people.
 
China-Singapore programme fostering new trade and investment deals:Altogether137 cooperative projects worth 21.9 billion U.S. dollars have been signed through a China-Singapore inter-government program over the past three years.

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