Analyse Asia 213: China’s Belt and Road Initiative with Robert Koepp

Editor’s note: This originally appeared on Analyse Asia, a weekly podcast hosted by Bernard Leong, dedicated to dissecting the pulse of business, technology, and media in Asia. The podcast features guests from Asia’s vibrant tech community.

Robert Koepp from the Economist Corporate Network joined us in a conversation to discuss the government of China’s Belt and Road initiative. We discussed the impact of the Belt and Road initiative to the Asian economies and the geopolitical, trade and financial risks that potentially impact China’s most important infrastructure project across Asia and Europe.

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Here are the interesting show notes and links to the discussion (with time-stamps included):

  • Robert Koepp (@RobKoepp , LinkedIn), Director, The Economist Corporate Network [0:40]
    • How did you start your career? [1:04]
    • In your career journey, what are the interesting lessons learnt? [1:56]
    • You have written an interesting book “Betting on China”, which provide an interesting analysis on China-based enterprises raising capital from NASDAQ & New York Stock Exchange and their evolution in handling investors outside of China, what is the key thesis of the book and who the intended audience is? [3:00]
    • Does the tech companies such as Alibaba Group learned from the mis-steps of the first wave of Chinese companies going public? [5:14]
    • What is your role and coverage in the Economist corporate network? [7:10]
  • Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) or otherwise One Belt, One Road [9:03]
    • Can you give an introduction to the Belt & Road (BRI) initiative by the Chinese government? [9:30]
    • Geographically, where are the economic corridors that the initiative is expanding from China to the outside world? [11:24]
    • A lot of media outlets likened One Belt One Road similar to the US Marshall Plan after World War II, and I understand you have analysed BRI against foreign aid and the Marshall plan, what are the similarities and differences between them? [13:46]
    • China has launched the BRI forum and how many countries are actually involved in the initiative and what is the amount of money pledged? [16:21]
    • One key point is the economics of BRI. What is the impact on China with its trade with BRI countries? Is the outlook optimistic and what are the mercantilist strategic implications? [18:25]
    • How does BRI affect China’s foreign direct investment and their own economy in the next few years? [21:20]
    • What are the trade risks for China with BRI? [24:25]
    • Which financial institutions are dedicated in providing the funds for BRI? [27:04]
    • Which are there any major projects within BRI such as the Indonesia: Jakarta-Bandung high speed highway that are important? [28:07]
    • Where do you see the financial risks for BRI come from? [29:44]
    • Where are the geopolitical risks in BRI from China’s perspective, for example, India is not part of it? [31:45]
    • Where do you see BRI goes in the next 1-2 years? [35:20]
  • Closing [38:12]

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