LONDON, March 14 (Xinhua) : China’s initiatives on building the Silk Road by land and sea will not only benefit the peoples in the region, but also provide tremendous business opportunities for Western businesses, British experts have said.
“The initiatives are probably the greatest opportunities for business in the world over the next 30 to 50 years,” said Stephen Perry, chairman of the UK-based 48 Group Club, at a forum on Silk Road by Land and Sea at Cambridge University on Friday.
Noting that the business opportunities are “greater than anything that can occur,” Perry said Western companies are ready to participate in the Land-Sea Silk Road initiatives — namely the initiatives on building the Silk Road Economic Zone and the 21st Maritime Silk Road brought up by China in 2013 for improved cooperation with countries in a vast part of Asia, Europe and Africa.
The Land-Sea Silk Road initiatives, also known “one Zone and One Road” are expected to undergo “an incredibly complicated process,” and bring about unprecedented dynamics for business around the world including British companies, Perry said. Just think of what cities airlines including British Airways, Cathy Pacific and Air China will be flying to in 20 years of time, he said.
The opportunities presented by the “One Zone and One Road” initiatives would be “phenomenal,” Perry added. Peter Nolan, director of Cambridge’s Center of Development Studies, noted infrastructure development in the region is an essential part of the “One Zone and One Road” initiatives.
People in the region will benefit enormously from the initiatives, Nolan said, noting the existing railway and road systems in parts of central Asia are extremely antiquated.
Tracing the history of the ancient Silk Road, Nolan said China has had “a deep interaction” with the region for over 2,000 years, while the West’s relationship with the area has been relatively brief. “This contrast should be borne in mind particularly in the West in trying to think about how to engage peacefully with China,” he continued.
Nolan also predicted a fierce competition for high value-added and high-profit business in the region.As Chinese firms have been quite successful in infrastructure construction sector, it is suggested they seek more presence and engagement in the high value-added part of the initiatives, said the globalization and world economy expert.
The Forum on Silk Road by Land and Sea, hosted by the Chinese Students and Scholars Association in Cambridge, was part of a series of cultural programs at the university aimed at promoting links between China and Britain.