Experts at the global economic forum in Davos, Switzerland, this week commented on China’s ambitious One Belt, One Road project, warning of the potential for politics to guide the flow of investments rather than economic value, Caixin Global reports.
The key, experts say, is a balance of input from both private-sector and governmental partners in decision-making. So far, the initiative has been dominated by Chinese companies which are often under substantial state influence, though Western businesses, from both developed and developing nations, are hoping to gain deeper involvement.
Leaders at the forum mentioned the possibility of politically-motivated “white elephants” which are disproportionately costly relative to their promise of returns. “For Belt and Road projects…broad consultation is really the key. If you don’t engage the public sector, private sector…it would be hard to prevent creating this kind of white elephants,” said Jin Liqun President of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank. “(We) are very careful before we put our resources in any project. Working with us you’re safe.”