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Belt and Road Initiative guides SMEs abroad2017-8-11 15:22:23(Beijing Time) Lange Steel

More small and medium-sized enterprises are trying to grasp opportunities related to the Belt and Road Initiative, according to China Association for Small & Medium Commercial Enterprises (CASME) and public relations agency Porter Novelli.
"CASME used to be a grassroots association seldom participating in international activities. However, since the first half of last year, especially since May this year when the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation was held, more associations like CASME in countries such as United States, Russia and Singapore have contacted us for cooperation," said Ren Xinglei, senior vice-chairman of CASME, in Beijing Thursday.

"Founders of some Japanese companies want to sell their business to Chinese investors as their offspring are not willing to manage and they want us to help them," Ren added, sharing an example.

"On the other side, 60 percent of 150 companies we surveyed in China's Pearl River Delta and Yangtze River Delta reported that they were willing to access overseas markets, among which, some medium-sized companies said they would like to set up plants or build industrial parks," he said.

In addition to SME's own willingness, Belt and Road Initiative, has not only generated more overseas opportunities for State-owned companies and large private companies, but also created such opportunities for SMEs as they are the major suppliers to large companies or get outsourced work.

Belt and Road Initiative guides SMEs abroad
Shen Guofang, former Chinese ambassador to the United Nations, made a speech at the launch ceremony of Porter Novelli China Desk in Beijing on May 10, 2017.[Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

However, Shen Guofang, former Chinese ambassador to the United Nations, said that "due to lack of convenient and smooth information channel, many Chinese companies do not know what investment recipient countries need and likewise, investment recipient countries do not know what Chinese companies can provide."

Belt and Road Initiative guides SMEs abroad
Brad Macafee, chief executive officer of Porter Novelli, made a speech at the launch ceremony of Porter Novelli China Desk in Beijing on May 10, 2017.[Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Brad Macafee, chief executive officer of Porter Novelli, which has been in China for 13-plus years helping multinational companies do business in the country, said that his company has made it a strategy to help Chinese companies access and expand in foreign markets due to the Belt and Road Initiative.

Porter Novelli established strategic relationship with CASME, launching a China Desk, a platform to aid Chinese companies on Thursday in Beijing.

Before a Chinese company's entry into a foreign country, Porter Novelli can research policies, regulations and market, Macafee told audience at the ceremony of the China Desk.

He added that his company can also help Chinese companies build key relationships with local officials, opinion leaders and help them build a good reputation and gain respect, based on Porter Novelli's years of experience in helping multinational companies do business in China.

Belt and Road Initiative guides SMEs abroad
Shi Weijie, chairman of sewage treatment company ShenmeiCheme Technology Company Limited.[Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

"We want to find companies with better technologies in developed countries and cooperate with them in China, which is a huge market, where environment protection has become a key issue," Shi Weijie, chairman of sewage treatment company ShenmeiCheme Technology Company Limited, told chinadaily.com.cn on Thursday on the launch ceremony of Porter Novelli China Desk.
"But we do not know where we could find ideal partners," said 38-year-old Shi, who left his work at a government body and started his chemicals trade company in 2006 and in 2011 launched another company ShenmeiCheme, a supplier for large water treatment companies located in regions as west as Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and as south as Guangdong province.

"I think companies need to develop step by step just as people need to eat one mouthful after another and now it's time for me to enlarge international vision and it's time for my company to seek more advanced technologies overseas due to competition at home," said Shi.

"Otherwise, if an entrepreneur's knowledge is outdated, his company will also become outdated," he added.

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