The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiatives, also known as “One Belt, One Road,” aims to create Eurasian marketplace. In China this week, MasterCard’s CEO says the Chinese initiative can be a success, not only regionally, but also globally.
In remarks before the China Development Forum, Ajay Banga, president and CEO of MasterCard, placed the initiative in the historical context of the Ancient Silk Road and the current regional and global context of commerce, trade, and information technology.
At a time when China faces a “new normal,” marked by slower growth, the One Belt, One Road policy framework could boost cross-border trade across both land and sea.
Mr. Banga said “The opportunity to bring together countries, cultures, and commerce cannot be overstated. Imagine what the New Silk Routes can achieve with a modern, open China,”
Banga offered two perspectives that could help drive success of One Belt, One Road: taking a holistic approach to trade and building on China’s commitment to open markets in a way that will benefit both China and partner-countries along the New Silk Routes.
1 A Holistic Approach to Trade
Trade in the 21st century has gone far beyond mercantile trade. It is now all about fast-moving, fast-changing information and ideas. The New Silk Routes are a strategic opportunity to create a network of information highways that can connect local entrepreneurs and SMEs. The more China can be a catalyst in helping build this new network of information highways, the better it is for China’s economy – the better it is for other economies connected to the New Silk Routes
2 Openness & The Common Language of Business
The New Silk Routes must be built to facilitate the widest scope of exchange possible and mutual benefits. China’s continued commitment to greater openness will be key. Many different industries will participate in these corridors. Each will have its own industry norms and standards which are considered the nexus point that facilitates business. Creating one’s own norms and standards will have the opposite effect to paving these new corridors of trade.
In conjunction with Banga’s speech, MasterCard released a whitepaper entitled, One Belt, One Road: Forging A New Vision For Shared Economic Growth which offered a view on driving the growth of cross-border trade through Trade System Innovation, Interoperable Innovation, and Open Market Innovation.
This is the fifth consecutive year MasterCard global executives have been invited to participate in the China Development Forum with top policymakers and scholars from China and more than 500 global leaders.
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