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This week’s top BRI news

Belt and Road Advisory

BRI Briefing
The latest updates on the BRI

"With strategic investments in infrastructure projects that are of high importance to Serbia comes a question whether these investments can be used and whether they are used by China to influence Serbia’s domestic and foreign policies."

 

Dragan Pavlićević
 
From our latest Voices of the Belt & Road podcast

BRI Briefing

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

China celebrates 40 year anniversary of reform and opening up:On China’s 40th anniversary of opening up and reform (改革开放) on Tuesday, President Xi Jinping gave a major speech commending China’s reform process
 
China restarts soybean purchases fromUS: China has bought US soybeans for the first time since the trade war between the two countries started in July. US officials hailed China's purchase of 1.13 million tonnes of US soybeans on Thursday as a "great step"
 
Trump on Wednesday signed into law the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act. It seeks to promote access to Tibet for US diplomats and other officials, journalists by denying US entry for Chinese officials deemed responsible for restricting access to Tibet
 
US and allies accuse China of widespread cyber-theft: The US, UK andother allies have taken the unprecedented step of accusing hackers linked to the Chinese government of waging a sustained cyber-campaign focused on large-scale theft of commercial intellectual property.
 
And all other BRI news
 
Trade and Investment
 
FDI from BRI countries into China rises rapidly: Overall FDI into China in 2018 has been broadly flat, but FDI from Belt and Road countries has grown at 14.9%, outperforming averages significantly.
 
China trade in surplus for goods falls by 20%: China’s exports rose 8.2 percent year-on-year to 14.92 trillion yuan in the January-November period while imports grew 14.6 percent to 12.96 trillion yuan, resulting in a trade surplus of 1.96 trillion yuan, which narrowed by 21.1 percent.
 
Chinese ODI flat: Chinese non-financial investment in foreign markets in the first 11 months of 2018 was worth a total of $104.48 billion; basically unchanged from the same period last year. Chinese investment flowed to 5,213 firms in 157 countries
 
Chinese companies continue internationalization: Domestic companies have increased investment in 56 countries and regions along the BRI routes in the first 11 months of 2018, totaling $12.96 billion, up 4.8 percent year-on-year, according to MOFCOM. From January to November, foreign investment from Chinese firms mainly flowed to industries such as leasing and business services (38.2%), manufacturing (15.7%), wholesale and retail (8.5%), and mining (8.2%).
 
Chinese private investment picks up: Private investment in China increased in November by 8.7% vs. 2017, supported by a series of policies to encourage private enterprises. Private investment accounts for about 60% of overall investment in China 
 
China CFOs losing confidence in the economy:In its biannual China CFO Survey, Deloitte found that China’s top finance execs are losing confidence in China's economy. 82% of respondents said their economic outlooks had become less optimistic over last 6 months.
 
Politics
 
Foreigners presented with reform awards: Lee Kuan Yew was one of 10 foreigners who were honored with China reform friendship awards, presented on the 40thanniversary of China’s opening up and reform.
 
Chinese companies strong presence in Kenya: Chinese companies in Kenya created more than 50,000 jobs and provided training to 67,000 people in 2018, according to a new report.
 
CPEC takes a military turn: In a development that is expected to cause diplomatic ripples, the New York Times reported China & Pakistan have a “confidential plan” to jointly build a new generation of fighter aircraft and other weapons as part of.
 
Bangladesh opposition backs BRI:Bangladesh’s largest opposition alliance will press ahead with Belt and Road projects if it wins the Dec. 30 general election, its officials say. Bangladesh officially joined BRI during President Xi Jinping’s visit to Dhaka in October 2016
 
China slams US for Tibet law: China'sforeign ministry said on Thursday it "resolutely opposes" a new US law on Tibet, saying Tibet is an internal affair and that Beijing allows no foreign interference.
 
Projects
 
Cambodian power station unveiled: The Chinese-built Lower Sesan II hydroelectric power station was inaugurated in far northeastern Cambodia on Monday after almost five years of construction. It was a $781 million project
 
China-Oman (Duqm) Industrial Park plans for c. $10 billion investment. China has become important to Oman's efforts to transform Duqm, a fishing settlement about 550 km south of Omani capital Muscat, into an industrial center aimed to diversify its economy beyond oil and gas. 
 
Tibet-Nepal port to re-open: Zhangmu port in Tibet, which was damaged during an 8.1-magnitude earthquake in Nepal in 2015, could reopen as soon as May 2019. Previously, over 80% of trade between the 2 countries went through the port
 
Chinese companies to do feasibility of Nepal monorail: A Chinese Company, China Railway 25th Bureau Group Co. Ltd. (CRCC), has got the responsibility of preparing a Detailed Project Report (DPR) for a proposed monorail project in Nepal’s capital Kathmandu.
 
China Vietnam train expands volumes:China-Vietnam freight trains connecting China's Yunnan province and Vietnam's Hai Phong port has made a total of 1,000 trips on December 18 since it launched operations one year ago, with goods delivery totaling 406,400 metric tons.

Zhejiang Belt and Road comprehensive service center was unveiled recently in Hangzhou. The center will provide services on BRI information, project investment, financial consulting, commercial law, overseas network construction. 

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