China Mer­chants step­ping up global drive

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - ROUNDTABLE - By DUAN TING in Hong Kong tingduan@chi­nadai­

State-owned con­glom­er­ate China Mer­chants Group Ltd (CMG) has been ac­cel­er­at­ing its pace of in­ter­na­tion­al­iza­tion for the past ten years, and will con­tinue seek­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties in the coun­tries and re­gions in­volved in the Belt and Road (B&R) Ini­tia­tive, as well as in ex­ter­nal and in­ter­nal as­set re­struc­tur­ing, to im­prove ef­fi­ciency, David Deng, gen­eral man­ager of the group’s Cap­i­tal Investment and Management De­part­ment, told the China Daily Lead­er­ship Roundtable spe­cial ses­sion themed “The prospects of the East Asian mar­ket in the new global econ­omy”.

He said their over­seas projects are in line with the B&R strat­egy, adding that CMG is al­ready in­volved in ar­eas like in­fra­struc­ture investment, lo­gis­tics ser­vices, in­dus­trial park and fi­nan­cial ser­vices in projects in Be­larus, Sri Lanka and East Africa, play­ing a pi­o­neer­ing role in the China-led ini­tia­tive.

The flag­ship of the group’s in­dus­try plat­form is China Mer­chants Port, which oper- ates 49 ports in 19 coun­tries and re­gions, while its lo­gis­tics sec­tor has 96 op­er­at­ing sites in 38 coun­tries and re­gions.

Deng said they have cre­ated a “PPC” (port-park-city) model and are exploring ways of us­ing it to cap­i­tal­ize on the op­por­tu­ni­ties of­fered by the Guang­dong-Hong KongMa­cao Greater Bay Area, as well as the B&R coun­tries and re­gions.

The “PPC ” model, he ex­plained, is based on their e xpe­ri­ence in Shen­zhen’s Shekou In­dus­trial Zone, which is to de­velop the ports busi­ness and get en­ter­prises to set up branches in the park next to Shekou Port to ex­port sup­plies, and to re­struc­ture the tra­di­tional func­tions of ports for com­mer­cial and res­i­den­tial use. CMG has been the solely devel­oper of port op­er­a­tions and re­lated lo­gis­tics and in­fra­struc­ture investment in Shekou since 1979.

Es­tab­lished in 1872 and based in Hong Kong, CMG has over­seas as­sets amount­ing to 591.2 bil­lion yuan ($87 bil­lion) — about 8.6 per­cent of its to­tal as­sets — as of late last year, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany. Its over­seas busi­ness cov­ers six con­ti­nents, in­volv­ing ports, ship­ping, lo­gis­tics, fi­nanc­ing and trad­ing.

Chi­nese main­land en­ter­prises have been step­ping up their in­ter­na­tion­al­iza­tion ef­fort in re­cent years, ac­quir­ing vast as­sets in other coun­tries. Deng said they’re also scour­ing for projects the group spe­cial­izes in.

He said Hong Kong, as a global fi­nan­cial cen­ter, has its own ad­van­tages, in­clud­ing cap­i­tal and tal­ents, and un­der the mu­tual mar­ket strate­gies, in­clud­ing the stock and bond con­nects, con­nec­tiv­ity be­tween the main­land and Hong Kong will be strength­ened and main­land com­pa­nies with abun­dant cap­i­tal will con­tinue to in­vest abroad.

David Deng

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