Interview: China-UK cooperation on Belt & Road perfect fit

Source: Xinhua| 2017-04-29 20:18:05|Editor: Tian Shaohui
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By Peter Barker, Gui Tao

LONDON, April 29 (Xinhua) -- China and Britain can enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship in developing China's Belt and Road Initiative, and one in which each partner complements the other, a UK business leader said.

"Our members have historically been British businesses, and now they are beginning to be Chinese businesses coming here," Lord James Sassoon, chairman of the China Britain Business Council (CBBC) told Xinhua in an interview recently.

Britain has strengths that are useful to China, and China in turn has capacity which the nation can benefit from, noted Sassoon.

The business leader said Britain was not in competition with China for construction projects, but the complementary nature of the strengths the two nations offered was "a perfect fit, a classic win-win."

"I don't believe there is any country that has such a well-balanced and complete package of professional services as the UK," said the Sassoon, adding the services including engineering, consultancy, design management,financing, risk management and insurance could be offered by Britain on Belt and Road and other third country projects.

Also in architecture and design, and the education on standards of completing projects, Britain had a lot to offer, he said.

"Chinese heavy lifting on the engineering of projects with the complete package of services, fits together beautifully," said Sassoon.

Such a collaboration would be beneficial in areas where Belt and Road will operate, said Sassoon, such as Central Asia, Southeast Asia and Africa.

On the Belt and Road Initiative, a joint report produced by CBBC and China's Tsinghua University in 2016 identified that the initiative was already seeing seeds of development planted along the new Silk Road in nations on the route.

The report highlighted 21 billion dollars worth of projects in 10 countries where China and Britain are working together.

"It was getting the UK to think about the fact it is for real, it is happening between UK and China and third countries, and to think about it in a broad way not just narrowly in terms of infrastructure projects," said Sassoon.

A report due for publication next month jointly done by CBBC and the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation (CAITEC) will examine other aspects of Belt and Road, including some focus on the Southeast Asian and southern side of it, "which we think could do with some more attention," said Sassoon.