One Belt One Road (OBOR) and The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a development strategy proposed by China's paramount leader Xi Jinping that focuses on connectivity and cooperation between Eurasian countries, primarily the People's Republic of China (PRC), the land-based Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) and the oceangoing Maritime Silk Road (MSR). The strategy underlines China's push to take a larger role in global affairs with a China-centered trading network. It was unveiled in September and October 2013 for SREB and MSR respectively. It was also promoted by Premier Li Keqiang during the state visit to Asia and Europe and the most frequently mentioned concept in the world.
Why do people want to join the circle of trading partners along the Belt and Road for doing their business?
In 2016, China’s trade with countries along the Belt and Road totaled USD$953.59 billion and China represented the biggest import market as well as major export market for its major trading partners along the route. By the end of 2016, Chinese enterprises have 56 economic and trade cooperation zones in the over 20 Belt and Road countries covering a wide range of industries with a total investment of more than US$18.5 billion. This cooperation has generated US$1.1 billion in tax revenues. And created 180,000 jobs for the host countries. From January to November 2016, a total of 2.472 companies involving investment by Belt and Road countries were set up in China, representing an increase of 27.3 percent year-on-year.
What convenience do traders get along the Belt and Road?
Several projects have been implemented among the Belt and Road countries, which already created great economy and social benefits. With Chinese low cost and reliable quality, many of these are high speed railway, metro, ports modern logistic equipment. Through these cooperation’s, financial, technology and government support all play their important role and strengthen each other’s cooperation which lowered the manufacturing and logistics cost.
- Shared platforms and standardized information to allow customs departments of different countries to gain knowledge about the goods with one simple click.
- Joint examination by multiple departments to ensure single green-light passage, which saves time, freight cost and manpower.
- Integrated faster customs clearance with simplified procedures will ensure friends along the “Belt and Road” high efficiency custom clearance.
Global network of Tax Treaties
By end of 2016, China had expanded its tax treaties to 106 countries and regions and formed a bilateral taxation cooperative mechanism with 116 countries. In the past three years, China has conducted 181 bilateral negotiations and eliminated double taxation totaling US$1.9 billion for cross-border taxpayers.
The State Administration of Taxation has issued 59 countries guides for taxation and investment, basically covering the countries and regions along the “Belt and Road” as well as other overseas major investment destinations.
Other notable factors:
- China and “Belt and Road” countries have signed more than 130 bilateral and regional deals on railway, motorway, sea shipping, air transport and postal service.
- China has opened 356 international channels for passenger and cargo transportation.
- Sea freight has covered all countries along the Belt and Road maritime routes
- China has direct flights to 43 Belt and Road countries, with around 4200 flights each week.
- China cooperates with many partners on international rail freight and postal services and has opened 39 China-Europe freight train services.
China’s Free Trade Zones supporting BRI.
China has established 11 pilot free trade zones so far and all have higher demands for accepting foreign investment. They implement the management system of pre-establishment national treatment plus negative list for foreign investment.
Shanghai: As the first free trade zone in China, Shanghai Free Trade Zone is famous for the highest degree of openness, investment and trade facilitation, currency conversion freedom, convenient and efficient regulation, and a sound legal environment.
Guangdong: Deepen Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao cooperation and create advantages in international economic cooperation and focus on liberalization of service trade and processing trade
Tianjin: Play a leading role in the development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region promote industrial restructuring of the Bohai Bay Economic Rim and enhance customs and financial reforms.
Fujian: To become an advanced manufacturing base and important platform of exchanges among countries and regions along the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and a demonstration area for cooperation in cross-Strait service trade and financial innovation.
Liaoning: Focus on the construction of a manufacturing base of advanced equipment, forming a strategic high ground for cooperation in Northeast Asia and build a hub for the international joint channel of shipping and railway transport.
Zhejiang: To promote trade liberalization of bulk commodities and seek breakthrough in investment facilitation and trade liberalization for the whole industrial chain of oil.
Henan: To focus on building a modern three-dimensional transport sy and modern logistics system, with top priority given to advanced manufacturing, cross border e-commerce and a modern services sector.
Hubei: To undertake industrial transfer and build a number of strategic newly emerging industries and high-tech industrial bases.
Shaanxi: To attach great importance to strategic newly emerging industries and high-tech industries, as well as international trade and modern logistics.
Sichuan: To develop itself into an inland open economic high-land and achieve coordinated opening-up with areas near the sea, rivers and borders.
Chongqing: To give play to role as strategic pivot and connecting point, focus on development of high-end industries and agglomeration of high-end elements, processing trade transformation and multimodal transport and logistics center.