B&R by the Numbers: Private enterprises main force in Belt and Road construction

Editor’s Note: This is the twelfth installment of Belt and Road Portal's special series on the Belt and Road Big Data Report 2017.

Private enterprises are now the main force in the construction of Belt and Road projects.

Among the most influential 50 enterprises participating in the Belt and Road Initiative, 42 percent are private enterprises, 36 percent are state-owned enterprises directly under the administration of the central government, 20 percent are state-owned enterprises administrated by local governments, and 2 percent are joint-venture enterprises, according to the Belt and Road Big Data Report 2017 published by the State Information Center.

Private and state-owned enterprises have different strengths. Private enterprises are particularly good at the construction and development of industrial parks, while state-owned enterprises have proved effective in large-scale infrastructure construction projects, according to Ou Xiaoli, inspector of the Department of Western Region Development of the National Development and Reform Commission.

The main force as well as the new force in the construction of the Belt and Road is now private enterprises.

The Belt and Road Initiative clarifies the direction and creates the platform and environment for Chinese enterprises to go out. A favorable macro-environment is gradually forming for their overseas development operations, said a number of entrepreneurs who attended the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing in May.

Bian Yongzu, a researcher with the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies of the Renmin University of China, said that the private enterprises, under the guidance of the government, have become an important force  in the Belt and Road construction.

The economic complementarity between China and the other Belt and Road countries provides huge development space for private enterprises, the involvement of which can enhance the vitality and investment efficiency in investment on the construction projects related to the Initiative, Bian said.

“The medium- and small-sized enterprises can absorb local resources, and make them more acceptable for the state-owned enterprises. Or they can even set up new international enterprises overseas to better facilitate going out,” Bian added.

Last year, Chinese enterprises signed 4,171 more project contracts than in 2015, up 104.6 percent, and the total volume of the contracts inked last year was US$33.39 billion more than that of 2015, up 36 percent, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

By the end of last year, China has signed bilateral investment treaties with 53 countries along the Belt and Road routes as well as agreements on the avoidance of double taxation with 54 relevant countries.

Editor: liuyue