James Chang Financial Service Leader from PWC China Consulting:
The Belt and Road Initiative should focus on lean, green and clean financial cooperation and economic development.
According to James Chang, host of the round-table meeting and partner of Pricewaterhousecoopers (PWC) who manages the China financial services consulting practice, the Belt and Road Initiative is a platform for international cooperation, and its vision of “policy communication, infrastructure connectivity, trade links, capital flow, and understanding among peoples” is aimed at joining the world more closely: infrastructure investment can help realize more inclusive growth, attract more direct foreign investment, create more job opportunities, and establish win-win relations. “However, as far as the market is concerned, the Belt and Road Initiative faces two major challenges, namely the risks of project implementation and capital abuse, as well as worsening debt problems. It is necessary to adopt an effective governance structure and diversified financing tools to deal with these risks,” said James Chang.
Its contribution to sustainable global economic growth is beyond any doubt. Although industrialization has resulted in great economic gaps existing between developed and developing countries, China’s experience in bring- ing a population of approximately 500 million out of extreme poverty over the course of 30 years will certainly provide invaluable lessons for countries and regions along the Belt and Road. “At the same time, we should always learn lessons from those mistakes made in history, and avoid damage to or adverse effects on the environment and society. Therefore, it is crucial to establish an effective monitoring and supervision system and an open and transparent information disclosure system,” he said. “Just as the guidelines put forward by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) regarding “staying lean, green and clean”, the Belt and Road initiative should focus on lean, green and clean financial cooperation and economic development.”
Regarding the news of China’s financial liberalization, after the announcement made by Chinese president Xi Jinping that China would fully liberalize its domestic financial market, James Chang stated that the Belt and Road Initiative not only brings opportunities for Chinese financial institutions to expand outwards, but also provides a great financial market for overseas players.