One Belt, One Road, One Puzzle for Foreign Businesses in China


Graham Norris, the communications director at AmCham China, takes the time to walk us through the new “One Belt, One Road” initiative. He looks at the past history as well as the current prospects. Bottom line: will take some time to find out if there is any there there.

So far, looks like there is potential for Chinese state-owned-enterprise to scoop up Chinese government money to clear their inventory and keep their engines humming. As for foreign business in China? Be careful about getting yourself too caught up in slogans.

As Graham writes:

It seems therefore that the biggest winners from this grandiose project will be state-owned enterprises, especially those with provincial backgrounds. According to the Economist, two-thirds of provinces have made One Belt, One Road a development priority this year, including Qinghai in the west and Guangdong on the coast. Cement maker Anhui Conch is building cement plants in several nearby countries, and steel exports from Shijiazhuang, the biggest steel-producing area in China, rose by half in the first seven months of the year, according to Reuters.

So is there anything for foreign companies to be excited about?

Anything that can arrest the slowdown in the economy, which in the third quarter expanded at its slowest rate since the global financial crisis, would be beneficial for all companies operating in China. But when it comes to specific opportunities, they could be harder to come by. 

Here is the link to the full article: AmCham China.

This post originally appeared on LinkedIn.


About James McGregor
James McGregor is an American author, journalist and businessman who has lived in China for more than 25 years. Currently, he is chairman of APCO Worldwide, Greater China. A professional speaker and commentator who specializes in China’s business, politics and society, he regularly appears in the media to discuss China-related topics. McGregor is the author of the books "No Ancient Wisdom, No Followers: The Challenges of Chinese Authoritarian Capitalism" (2012) and "One Billion Customers: Lessons from the Front Lines of Doing Business in China" (2005). He also wrote the 2010 report "China’s Drive for ‘Indigenous Innovation’ – A Web of Industrial Policies." From 1987 to 1990 McGregor served as The Wall Street Journal’s bureau chief in Taiwan, and from 1990 to 1994 as the paper’s bureau chief in Mainland China. From 1994 to 2000, he was chief executive of Dow Jones & Company in China. After leaving Dow Jones, he was China managing partner for GIV Venture Partners, a $140 million venture capital fund specializing in the Chinese Internet and technology outsourcing. In 1996, McGregor was elected as chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China. He also served for a decade as a governor of that organization. He is a member of the Atlantic Council, Council on Foreign Relations, National Committee on US-China Relations and International Council of the Asia Society. He serves on a variety of China-related advisory boards.

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