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Spokesperson of the Chinese Mission to the EU Speaks on a Question Concerning a Report by the EU Chamber of Commerce in China on the Belt and Road Initiative

Q: The EU Chamber of Commerce in China recently published a report on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), claiming that European businesses have come up against barriers to participation in BRI-related projects due to lack of transparency and a fair procurement mechanism, thus leading to a low level of participation. What is your comment?

A: It must be pointed out that in the past years, European businesses have been actively involved in BRI-related projects and have gained enormous benefits therefrom. Siemens set up a dedicated Belt and Road office and has worked with over 100 Chinese companies to explore global markets. The Portuguese power company EDP and China Three Gorges Corporation have jointly conducted multiple projects in Portuguese-speaking countries. The European Investment Fund and the Silk Road Fund set up the China-EU co-investment vehicle. Companies from such countries as Germany, France, Italy and Spain have engaged in third-market cooperation together with their Chinese partners, building roads, bridges, tunnels, hospitals, steel and natural gas projects.

The BRI offers an open, inclusive and transparent platform for international cooperation. The initiative observes the golden principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, and follows a market-driven approach with businesses playing a dominant role. All enterprises, be it Chinese- or foreign-invested, take part in the relevant projects in an open, fair and transparent fashion. Whether a company could win a bid or not depends on its competitiveness.

I wish to emphasize that "shared benefits" does not mean windfall gains. Business opportunities in the BRI could only be seized by those who make a genuine effort, not by those who sit comfortably out there complaining.

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