Promoting BRI with Spirit of Reform and Opening Up

Author: Hu Zheng, Invited Researcher of CDI, Director of China Merchants Group, and Chief Representative of China Merchants Group in Central Asian and Baltic Region

Editor’s Note: The implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) shall be closely combined with the reform and opening up, top-level design, shared development, sustainability. Construction of overseas industrial parks is the highlight of BRI. In the new era, the emphasis of BRI is to properly deal with the relationship between “Going Out” and “Bringing In”.

The implementation of BRI deepens China’s reform and opening up and they are closely integrated with each other. In the course of reform and opening up that started since 1978, the most prominent feature is “Bringing In”. The establishment of special economic zones, high-tech parks, bonded logistics parks, free trade zones and the introduction of capital and technology have directly driven the leapfrog development of China’s economy and have also exerted significant impact on the world.

Under the context of the reform and opening up and with the advancement of BRI, the “Going Out” is endowed with new characteristics. First is the support of national strategies and policies. Second, we should focus on addressing top-level design issues such as policy coordination, infrastructure connectivity, trade, currency and people. Third, we should uphold the concept of shared development. Fourth, we should aim at sustainable development. Chinese enterprises should innovate and create a new model of Going Out.

Construction of overseas industrial parks is the highlight of BRI and has gained high recognition from countries along BRI. The construction of parks will not only drive local economic development and promote local employability, but also facilitate the transformation and upgrading of production capacity. Overseas industrial parks have become the strategic pillar of BRI and provided Chinese enterprises with a new platform of win-win cooperation.

In the new era, the implementation of BRI should be promoted with the spirit of reform and opening up. In this process, we should adhere to the concept of win-win cooperation, properly handle the relationship between “Going Out” and “Bringing In”. That means China should export its own development experience and learn from others at the same time, which will greatly enrich the connotation of BRI. In addition, we should value sustainable development and share mutual benefits while implementing BRI.