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|Foreign Businesses See Belt and Road as Development Opportunity|
The Belt and Road Initiative has brought concrete benefits to both Chinese and foreign businesses, said a number of company executives.
Angelos Karakostas, deputy CEO of Greece's Piraeus Port Authority, said at a press conference on November 15 that the port's cooperation with China's shipping giant COSCO has proved to be a win-win.
COSCO has been running Pier II and Pier III of the Port of Piraeus through its subsidiary since 2008. In 2017, the port's annual throughput grew to 4.15 million TEUs from 880,000 TEUs in 2008, bringing the port's global ranking up to 36th from 93rd.
Yu Zenggang, Vice General Manager of COSCO, said the company has been increasing transport capacity along the Belt and Road routes. The company's overseas assets account for more than half of the total, while overseas profit takes up some 63 percent.
The China Communications Construction Company has seen a surge in overseas investment since the Belt and Road Initiative proposed in 2013, with new contract value exceeding 1.1 trillion yuan ($158.5 billion), said Sun Ziyu, Vice President of the state-owned construction giant.
One of the major projects the company has engaged in under the initiative is the Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) in Kenya, which had carried some 2 million passengers and 2 million tonnes of cargo as of the end of October.
James Michugu Karanja, Vice Director of Kenya's SGR project, said that the construction of the Mombasa-Nairobi railway created some 46,000 local jobs and contributed more than 1.5 percent to Kenya's GDP.
China's Wanhua Chemical Group has been expanding its footprint along the Belt and Road in Europe, with market share increasing rapidly after its acquisition of Hungarian chemical producer BorsodChem in 2011, said Huo Pengtao, Wanhua's vice president.
Bela Varga, Vice President of human resources and public relations for BorsodChem, said that it was through the partnership with Wanhua that BorsodChem managed to turn a profit in 2015 and keep more than 3,000 jobs.
Proposed by China, the Belt and Road Initiative refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, aimed at building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes of the Silk Road.
(Xinhua News Agency November 15, 2018)
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