Annual Report 2018


The year 2018 witnessed CDI’s substantial growth in influence as it stays committed to research finding solutions to policy challenges, events connecting leaders in academia, government and business, and outreach expansion disseminating policy insights to the public.


Public and private sector decision-makers around the world have turned to CDI for rigorous research and practical proposals, bringing us pressing public policy challenges.

The year 2018 marked the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening-up. Meanwhile, this year witnessed anti-globalization looming large. CDI scholars, energized by the opportunity to use research to deepen reform in key areas and advance opening-up on all fronts, address policy problems regarding the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (Greater Bay Area), innovation-driven development, supply-side reform, China-US trade tensions, etc. Interactions with decision-makers and thought-leaders took place at every governance level and in many parts of the world.

CDI’s research pursuit of the BRI has never been wavered with fact-based and empirical analysis. CDI conducted policy research on overseas industrial parks in the countries along the Belt and Road such as PK 24 Industrial Zone in Cote d'Ivoire, Dire Dawa Industrial Park in Ethiopia and China Special Economic Zone Dhabeji in Pakistan. CDI also conducted joint research projects with German Development Institute and CERDI-IDREC University Clermont Auvergne respectively, which scrutinize the BRI from the European perspective.

CDI continued its research on the Greater Bay Area when the relevant central government departments and the three governments strived for policy breakthroughs. CDI experts, who clearly understood the challenges faced by the Greater Bay Area, explored an approach, emphasizing on effective and efficient flow of various factors such as people, goods, capital, and information to promote market connectivity, to the development of the city cluster.

Diverse decision-makers who have turned to CDI despite their different concerns and priorities have one thing in common: they need pragmatic policy solutions. CDI has an extensive roster of experts on regional, urban and industrial development who are experienced in developing policy ideas for coordinated regional development, special economic zones, cross-border economic cooperation zones, free trade zones, urbanization, logistics and supply chain management, financial services, marine economy, renewable energy, innovation-driven economy, public welfare and investment decision-making.


In its critical role as a platform for substantive discussions on policy issues, CDI convened events covering China’s reform and opening-up, BRI, Greater Bay Area, etc. and brought together policy-influential people in China and beyond.

We “went out” to exchange ideas on the economic cooperation betw een China and other countries.

Challenges and Opportunities: Eurasia Cooperation in New Era

CDI participated in the discussion held by the Italian Institute for International Politics in Milan to explore the new cooperation mode between Asia and Europe by using the BRI as a coordination bond.

Dagger Drawn: What does U.S.-China Trade Standoff Mean for You?

CDI and AmCham jointly organized the panel discussion in Hong Kong which focused on the U.S.-China trade tension and the impact on business in the region.

China-ASEAN Think Tanks Seminar: Experience, Challenges and Opportunities–How to Reach Agreement on RCEP

CDI and Asian Strategy & Leadership Institute co-organized the event in Kuala Lumpur to explore ways to build on the experience of the TPP, push forward the RCEP negotiations and tap into the potential of the RCEP.

China-Belarus Think Tanks Seminar: Challenges and Solutions-Cooperation on BRI

CDI, along with the Institute of Economics of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, hosted the seminar in Minsk to discuss industrial parks construction, standards alignment and risk management under the framework of the BRI.

Debt, Investment and Risk Management of BRI

CDI experts held roundtable discussions on the issues with their counterparts from the Netherlands Institute of International Relations and the Hague Centre for Strategic Studies in Hague.

Background and Vision: Greater Bay Area

CDI experts held the discussion on the city cluster with their counterparts from the Danish Institute for International Studies in Copenhagen.

China-Pacific Islands Maritime Economic Seminar: Win-Win Cooperation and Shared Growth

In the Federated States of Micronesia, CDI gathered government officials, experts and practitioners to discuss how to achieve sustainable development in the Pacific Islands by promoting infrastructure connectivity, fishery, and tourism.

New Silk Roads World Forum: Forging a New Era of Connectivity

In cooperation with Monash University, CDI organized the forum in Melbourne which discussed the financing mechanism, multilateral cooperation and potential risks of the BRI.

China and India Strengthening Cooperation in Healthcare Sector

CDI and Confederation of Indian Industry co-organized the roundtable discussion in New Dehli to address policies coordination in the pharmaceuticals and biotechnology industries of the two countries.

Special Economic Zones Seminars

CDI held the seminars to inform how to set the SEZ policy agenda in the United Arab Emirates, Cote d'Ivoire and Vietnam.

We also “brought in” experts from other countries who shared their views with Chinese audience including academia, government, business and media.

Pan-Beibu Gulf Think Tank Summit: BRI and New Vision for Openness and Connectivity

CDI assembled experts to discuss the upgrading of regional cooperation under the BRI. Over a dozen of Southeast Asian economies were represented among the speakers.

GFCI 24 Launch and Financial Centres Development Forum

CDI, in partnership with Z/Yen Group, launched the Global Financial Centres Index 24 and held the forum which proposed ways of facilitating financial centres growth.

Belt and Road Summit: From Vision to Action

CDI held the summit jointly with The European House – Ambrosetti which focused on how to promote economic cooperation among Eurasian countries under the framework of the BRI.

CDI International Seminars

CDI held the discussions in smaller circles which were themed on Boosting Science and Technology Innovation in Greater Bay Area, China-India Cooperation under BRICS, Financial Market Infrastructures and Innovation, China-Japan Cooperation for Mutual Benefits, Bay Areas in China and US, and China-U.S. Economic Relations: A Mixture of Challenges and Cooperation all year round.

In addition, CDI also organized events to bring together policy influencers in China, such as the CDI Beijing Annual Meeting themed on 40th Anniversary of Reform and Opening-up and Greater Bay Area Development, the 14th Shanghai-Tianjin-Shenzhen Forum themed on 40th Anniversary of Reform and Opening-up: Special and New Areas to Lead in High-Quality Development, the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Cooperation Seminar themed on Prospects for Youth in Greater Bay Area, etc.


Through our publications, website, newsletters, social media and press outreach, CDI disseminated its ideas and analysis to the interested public.

CDI published the books including China’s Opening-up Beige Book 2016-2017, BRI and Chinese Outbound Investment: New Opportunities, Cooperation and Approaches, Chinese Enterprises “Going Out” under BRI, Development and Management of Chinese Overseas Industrial Parks under BRI, China Industrial Finance Development Index 2018, China Entrepreneurship and Innovation Finance Index 2018, China Financial Centers Index 10, New Economy and Old System, 40 Years of Reform and Opening-up and Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, Theory and Practice: Shenzhen Urban Renewal, Our Society: Proceedings of Silver Lake Salon, Our Future: Proceedings of Silver Lake Salon, and Tides Surging on Dapeng Bay: Shenzhen in Graduates’ Eyes. CDI also participated in the compilation of China Supply Chain Management Blue Book and China Logistic Yearbook.

CDI published 65 posts on its English website which have grown as a source of timely analysis on the latest developments in China’s economic policy. CDI also sent out regular English newsletters and the subscriber list increased by 10%. What’s more, the number of CDI’s followers on the LinkedIn page experienced a strong growth.