APF e-newsletter, May 12, 2017
Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, will be in Beijing, China, May 14-15, to represent Canada at the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. This forum provides Canada with an opportunity to discuss cooperation in key areas such as infrastructure connectivity, trade, investment, financial support and people-to-people exchanges throughout the Asia-Pacific region in the context of China’s Belt and Road development initiative. On the margins of the conference Parliamentary Secretary Goldsmith-Jones will seek to identify opportunities for Canadian businesses to take part in infrastructure investments in the region. While in Beijing, she will also participate in activities promoting Canada-China education programs.
April 26, 2017
China invites US to join Belt and Road
China Daily reported that China encouraged the United States to participate in the Belt and Road Initiative. China’s Ambassador to the US Cui Tian Kai said the Belt and Road Initiative is dedicated to boosting such ties between countries along the trade routes rather than formulating an exclusive group. The initiative aims to achieve benefits through consultation and cooperation. Meanwhile, other media including Finland-based GBTIMES quoted Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) President Jin Liqun as saying the AIIB values cooperation with US companies and welcome firms – especially those in the fields of technology – to take part in the bidding process for AIIB infrastructure projects. He added that the institution handed out loads worth US$1.7 billion in 2016, a quarter of which were funded by the AIIB alone, with the rest jointly funded by the AIIB and other international organisations. The US and Japan are the only major countries yet to join the bank.
May 14, 2017
1. Xi, Macron have friendly phone call
China Daily reported that President Xi Jinping and French president-elect Emmanuel Macron agreed in their first telephone call to maintain contact and meet each other at an early date. Mr Xi congratulated the president-elect and said that China has always viewed France as a cooperative partner of great significance and priority. He added that China welcomes France’s participation in building the Belt and Road Initiative. Mr Macron was reported as saying that his administration will deepen cooperation with China on diplomacy, the economy, trade and industries, and collaboration within the framework of building the Belt and Road.
2. Belt and Road Opportunities
The online platform Breaking News Live reported on the Thailand and Vietnam mission led by HKTDC Chairman Vincent HS Lo. Mr Lo was quoted as saying that China alone cannot shoulder the US$8 trillion Belt and Road infrastructure cost and recommends setting up a platform for international resources interested in Belt and Road projects to come through Hong Kong. He added that such an initiative would provide a new breakthrough for the city’s economy and offer plenty of of opportunities for the younger generation. Mr Lo said the Council has chosen the most “investment-friendly” countries along the route. In Asia, the Council will start with places such as Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia. In the Middle East, he cited the UAE and Saudi Arabia, while Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary will be the top priorities in Europe.
3. Belt and Road Initiative Sets Chinese Tone for Globalisation 2.0
Bloomberg reported that China has prepared a draft communique to promote China’s trade and economic positions. The communique includes a statement of support for the Paris Agreement on climate change as well as pledges of support to 13 separate regional bodies and cooperation agreements. It cited that China will ask 28 world leaders to sign on to President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative on globalisation. State media have referred to the Belt and Road Initiative’s ambitions as "globalisation 2.0."
4. China set to build new port city for Sri Lanka
The South China Morning Post reported that China is building a new city along Colombo’s coastline that will become its new central business district (CBD) by 2030. As part of the Belt and Road Initiative, the project will see an initial investment of US1.4 billion, making the Colombo Port City China’s biggest project to date in Sri Lanka. It will be built on 269 hectares of reclaimed land and become a modern city accommodating 200,000 residents. It will consist of apartments, hotels, offices, shopping malls, exhibition centres, providing 80,000 new jobs.