China Merchants boss outlines One Belt, One Road investments

China Merchants boss outlines One Belt, One Road investments

The head of China Merchants Group has outlined investment plans that chime with Beijing’s continent-yoking Belt and Road Initiative.

Speaking with state run China Daily newspaper, Li Jianhong, chairman of the powerful ports group, outlined plans to invest in Djibouti, Sri Lanka and Belarusin the coming four years.

A livestock berth and an LNG terminal are on the cards for the port of Djibouti, warehouses in Colombo and a logistics park is pencilled in for Belarus, some 25 km outside the capital, Minsk.

“The trade-and-infrastructure network-proposed by the Chinese government in 2013-envisions a Silk Road Economic Belt and a 21st Century Maritime Silk Road that covers about 4.4bn people in more than 60 countries and regions in Asia, Europe and Africa,” China Daily reported, describing the One Belt, One Road initiative set out by Chinese president Xi Jinping.

“We are also aiming to enhance the renminbi’s status in international currency settlement through building our first Silk Road hub project in Djibouti this year,” said Li. China Merchants is now the second-largest shareholder of the Port of Djibouti, after it acquired a 23.5% stake in 2012.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

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