World Bank, IMF moot focuses on infrastructure investment and China’s BRI

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Abdul Basit

Dubai – Today, Asia is the growth story and China and ASEAN will be leading the recovery of the global economy.
These thoughts were shared by Shan Saeed, Chief Economist, IQI Global, during an interview with The UAE News. Saeed has 17 years of financial market experience in the areas of private banking, risk /compliance management, commodity investments, global economy and business strategy.
Based in Kuala Lumpur, IQI Global advises clients globally including Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Toronto, Manila, Dubai and London.
Saeed said, “China is the new global and economic power. If you are part of The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), you are relevant in terms of economic growth.”
The BRI is a development strategy proposed by China’s President Xi Jinping that focuses on connectivity and cooperation between Eurasian countries, primarily the People’s Republic of China, the land-based Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) and the oceangoing Maritime Silk Road (MSR). The strategy underlines China’s push to take a larger role in global affairs with a China-centered trading network. It was unveiled in September and October 2013 for SREB and MSR respectively.

Below are the excerpts from the interview:

What was the theme of the latest annual meeting at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in Washington DC?
The main focus was on The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) coined by President Xi Jinping in 2013 and impact of BRI globally. I had the privilege of listening and attending the BRI deliberation last October at the World Bank summit. It was very informative and enlightening to hear from smart speakers during the interactive forum. Excellent platform for networking to meet decision makers and global leaders from 177 countries. There were 20,000 people invited and I consider myself honoured to be invited and represented IQI Global at the highest platform in the power corridors of global finance.
Second theme was infrastructure investment. Honoured to listen to Sir Rickard Branson, Chairman of Virgin Group UK, who elaborated on sustainable infrastructure can buttress government’s effort in getting FDI and helping businesses to move faster in reaching their revenue stream successfully. He spoke very highly about China’s BRI and investment outlook for the globe.

What do you personally think of BRI?
It’s a great initiative taken by China under the leadership of President Xi Jinping. He is the man with remarkable ability to think strategically. Personally, I think, it’s a great infrastructure investment strategy to spur growth globally to lift the masses out of poverty and provide financial and economic opportunities for the major players involved. BRI is a winning investment strategy. The major beneficiaries of BRI are Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Mongolia, Russia, and Turkey.

What’s the new world order in your opinion?
Whoever controls ports and commodities will rule the globally economy. China is investing heavily in all the countries involved in BRI and bolstering the status of those stakeholders to the new levels of economic significance.

China’s recent internet conference in Wuhan? What’s are your thoughts?
Whoever takes the lead in artificial intelligence, will control the global economy as well. Technology can spur growth much faster and governments that are tech savvy will achieve economic progression ahead of others. So technological importance has grown exponentially in recent times.

What’s your outlook for next year?
Asia is the growth story. China and ASEAN will be leading the recovery of the global economy. China is the new global and economic power. If you are part of Belt and Road, you are relevant in terms of economic growth. Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Russia, Turkey, Mongolia, and Kazakhstan are the important players in BRI equation. This is an opportunity to profoundly help shape the New World Order. The pivot has moved to China and many countries are looking to her to take the leadership role in shaping the global economy based on mutual benefits and sovereignty of the nations.
President Xi Jinping is the new global and Asia leader to guide the masses to witness an economic explosion. So far Asian countries have reacted to the trade policies of the developed and Western countries. Now Asian countries are in the driving seat to lead the economic progression and prosperity. – abdulbasit@theuaenews.com