The Largest Chinese Investors Along the ‘New Silk Road’
China has undertaken one of the biggest economic projects in the century building its Belt and Road Initiative, often termed the ‘New Silk Road’. It has a massive expanse and a large potential in making China’s economy and polity unprecedentedly powerful. Several Chinese establishments have pitched in and invested in the project, guaranteeing huge returns in the future. These are both public and private holdings. Let’s take a look at these.
China merchant port holdings
China Merchant Port Holdings is one of the biggest conglomerates in the country. Besides air cargo and shipping, it is involved in several operations including ports and other transportation. It has stakes in 56 ports worldwide, with 11 that are part of the New Silk Road, including Sri Lanka, which is the most important one. The Director-General, in 2019, said to the Africa Report, ‘We consider ourselves the natural executor of the Belt and Road Initiative.’
COSCO stands for China Cosco Shipping Corporation Limited. It is probably the biggest investor along the New Silk Road. Its most important venture is taking control of the port of Piraeus in Greece. In 2019, COSCO signed a deal with the Silk Road Fund and established a joint venture in Russia. It has been an especially important investor in Central Asia, investing in Kazakhstan, and other bordering countries. It is interesting to note that the largest investors in the new Silk Road are both shipping companies.
Silk Road gold fund
This investment, led by the Shanghai Gold Group and Shaanxi Gold Group is a more than $16 Billion venture and is only supposed to grow further. The Belt and Road initiative will act as a huge impetus to the gold mining industry. Over 60 countries have become part of this fund. Its strategy to mine gold from newer deposits in underdeveloped countries is bound to pay off. The project is inching steadily towards Latin America, having already set up considerable bases in Africa and Central and South-East Asia.
The China, Central & Eastern Europe Investment Co-operation Fund set up in 2013, aims to invest in new, innovative industries with high tech and green energy production. Through this, it also aims to facilitate cooperation between China and Eastern European companies. This venture is especially important since it could lead to a future power shift in Europe. It has set up important projects in the countries that have become part of the Belt.
Establishments like the China Investment Corporation, China Life Insurance Company and China Development Bank have also become important players in Silk Road investments. A huge part of their funds is now being used to increase foreign investment via the “Belt and Road” project. Most of their ventures are aimed at developing countries.
The “Belt and Road” initiative has given China a great boost and is making it a big player in global politics. The establishments that have invested in it, are also growing tremendously. It remains to be seen how China will grow and expand its influence in the coming years.