Chairman LU Jianzhong: The Belt and Road calls for international chambers of commerce
14 Mar 2017


By GU Shuliang,


Beijing(RMZXW), March 12 – “For over three years since the initiation of the Belt and Road, the concept of joint discussion, construction and development has been well received by peoples. So far, more than 100 countries and international organizations have taken part in the Initiative, among which more than 30 have signed cooperation agreements with China, and more than 20 countries joined China on productivity cooperation. Complying to the foreign policy, we should further promote the development of the Belt and Road.” said Mr. LU Jianzhong, member of the CPPCC.  He pointed out that international chambers of commerce should play a very active role in the process by mediating between businesses and governments, and among organizations. Also, chambers are resourceful especially in motivating businesses thanks to their large membership. This could funnel their member businesses into the Belt and Road, in which they are united as a community of shared interest.


After thorough research, Mr. LU states that due to the differences in policies, legal environments and economic development between China and Silk Road countries, challenges and obstacles are expected in the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiatives, such as: 1. Though governments along the Belt and Road symphonize with the Belt and Road Initiatives, chambers of commerce do not share the insights and interpretation, which results in the deficient communication and biased understanding. 2. The enterprises are “fighting alone”. Weak communication within businesses brings liability, and calls for third-party institutions like chambers of commerce to bridge between government and enterprises. 3. Generally, Chinese enterprises might be unconfident and shut out when investing in an economy vastly different from China in political, economic, cultural, and legal aspects. Such unfamiliarity blocks their channels of information from the local governments and partners, and renders them less competitive.


Mr. LU said that the Belt and Road construction needs both “going out” of Chinese businesses and “inviting in” of foreign ones. In this process, we should exploit the advantages of international chambers of commerce by leading, coordinating and supporting them as the engine of the Silk Road.  And in the meantime, relevant departments should regulate chambers of commerce while offering guidance, coordination and support.


On how to regulate international chambers of commerce, Mr. LU said, to include them in the Belt and Road, Chinese government should pass and improve regulations and policies regarding private and international chambers. The implementation of the regulations and administrative procedures also need improving and simplifying, such as license application, operational coverage, obligations and responsibilities, institutional frameworks and legal person, etc. Well-designed regulations ensure the legitimacy, authority and credibility of private chambers of commerce. Chinese government should encourage and entitle private chambers of commerce, led by relevant departments and businesses, to facilitate communication, rate credit, consult regulators, and foster cooperation within the industry. Given the role, private chambers would provide the government with consultancy and plans for the “going out” of Chinese businesses. The government should endorse and support the projects initiated by private and international chambers of commerce, especially those under the frameworks of the Belt and Road. Financial institutions, such as the Silk Road Fund, the AIIB and the CDB, should be included in the MoUs with international chambers of commerce with both great reputation and achievements. Levering international capital and resources into the multinational cooperation facilitates the implementation of the Belt and Road projects abroad.


Mr. Lu further elaborated that, “governmental institutions, like the CCPIT, Foreign Ministry, Ministry of Commerce, and Chinese Embassies, should offer their guidance and help to private chambers in hosting international events, like coordination, sharing information and resources. Also, chambers of commerce should be encouraged to bring more Chinese voice into the process of rule making, so that Chinese businesses could be more represented in the international market. Private chambers of commerce should be included in international events like B20 and APEC. This would be a robust drive to build an open, fair, and reasonable system for international economy. And private chambers, hence, would participate in global economic governing and facilitate the global macro economic policies.”