Xi Jinping first announced the “One Belt One Road” project to the world in September 2013, during a speech in Kazakhstan. Five years and one English-language name change later, the realistic prospects for the Belt and Road have begun to clarify, as has the road map for MNC engagement.
In October, The Conference Board China Center convened its member company executives in Beijing for a Deep Dive Exchange to discuss both the risks and opportunities facing China’s signature foreign policy project and to illuminate the ways that MNCs can leverage the promising elements of BRI while avoiding its many risks. Attendees were the senior-most executives who “own” Belt & Road-related planning, strategy, and engagement, across operations, partnering, and government relations aspects of the issue. Of note, many MNCs now have executives dedicated to BRI business development.
During the session, members shared their companies’ perspectives, experiences, and lessons-learned along the Belt & Road region and discussed ideas about how to participate successfully going forward.