Economic opportunities along the Belt and Road are expected to increase this year as more Chinese firms step up overseas expansion, a report from global audit and consultancy firm Deloitte showed.
The Belt and Road Initiative is writing a new chapter of deepening investment and trade, with strong performance in 2017, while Deloitte believes the initiative will be of increasing significance in 2018.
“A growing number of countries and organizations are actively involved in the initiative, promoting its deep development across the globe. The initiative now looks beyond infrastructure projects, expanding to other diverse industries and sectors in destination countries,” said Norman Sze, Belt and Road Services China leader with Deloitte.
While Chinese state-owned enterprises took the lead in the initiatives early stages, more private and foreign-funded enterprises are now taking part. Meanwhile, traditional and emerging industries are expected to see new opportunities in international industrial capacity cooperation, he said.
“The Belt and Road Initiative is shaking off geographical limitations and creating a new platform for 'win-win' results through discussion and collaboration,” Sze added.
The report estimated that internet companies, led by Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent, will play pivotal roles in outbound investment, transforming “Made in China” from cheap commodities to innovative products.
Projects in areas like AI and biotechnology, which focus on the future and technological innovation, will be heavily favored, the report showed.
“In the new era, China will play a more active role in updating the international economic and trade order, not only learning from others' strong points but also embracing open innovation in the process of going out,” said Xu Sitao, chief economist at Deloitte China.