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Belt and Road Initiative Takes auto Industry Globally

2017-10-09 15:03:44

Industry insiders have hailed China's supportive policies as the backbone of expanding international automobile partnerships linked to the Belt and Road Initiative.


Cui Dongshu, secretary-general of the China Passenger Car Association, said China's automobile manufacturing industry is accelerating its progress in "going global".


"Within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, Chinese automakers will have wider scope and emboldened vision. As a result, they are forming overseas partnerships and establishing joint manufacturing plants, in addition to international trade in completed cars," said Cui.


He said the initiative has created a favorable political environment and business opportunities for Chinese carmakers' development. He added companies should work together systematically, going global in clusters.


Xu Haidong, an assistant to the secretary-general of the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, said that, "Chinese carmakers could join together in negotiating with local auto dealers to ensure their voice is heard, in case the dealers have stronger influence in the market."


Xu added Chinese carmakers have embraced the concept of selling brands and services, upgrading from the earlier idea of simply selling cars.


Last month, Egypt-based Holding Company for Maritime and Land Transport announced it is sealing a deal with Chinese partners to produce 900 vehicles a month, leveraging the automakers' experience in assembling and machinery.


Its next step is to secure agreements on tractors and bulldozers with Chinese partners in 2018.


After acquiring a 49.9 percent stake in Malaysia-based Proton Holding and 51 percent of British sports car brand Lotus this year, chairman of the board of Zhejiang Geely Holding Li Shufu attributed the achievements to China's Belt and Road Initiative.


Yu Ning, senior consultant to Geely Holding, said: "The Proton deal was reached in the environment characterized by the nation's Belt and Road Initiative. Initiatives at the country level have played a critical role."


Sources familiar with the matter said that without the country's policy-based support, Geely would not have beaten two rival European auto giants in bidding for Proton and Lotus.


"The partnership between the automakers is also about the Sino-Malaysian relationship. It is Chinese Geely who willingly took on the responsibility of reviving Malaysian auto manufacturing, instead of taking Lotus only," according to the sources.