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BRICS investment to boost regional ties

Chen Meiling/Hu Meidong
Updated: Sep 19,2017 9:16 AM     China Daily

Investment in infrastructure and manufacturing will continue to be the key engine for the BRICS countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — to enhance regional connectivity and stimulate trade activities, business leaders said on Sept 18.

Concerning the asset amount, it may be a bit difficult for countries like India and South Africa to be very big investors. China, which accounts for two-thirds of the total economic aggregate among the five countries, should enlarge the investment scale to lay a solid basis for establishing the BRICS economic belt, Zhu Xian, vice-president of the BRICS New Development Bank, said at the International Investment Forum 2017 in Xiamen.

The forum is a major event of the China International Fair for Investment and Trade in Xiamen, Fujian province, held from Sept 18 to 21.

As one of the biggest annual international investment promotion events following the ninth BRICS Summit held earlier this month, this year’s forum will focus on boosting investment in BRICS countries, as well as economies related to the Belt and Road Initiative, according to You Quan, Party secretary of Fujian province.

According to the 2017 World Investment Report released in June by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, China’s outbound direct investment ranked top among the BRICS countries to reach about $183 billion in 2016.

However, the proportion of investment among BRICS members only took up 6 percent, the report said.

Zhu from the BRICS New Development Bank said the history of China’s investment in those countries is still relatively short, and there is great potential for further cooperation.

Chen Jinghe, chairman of Zijin Mining Group, a Fujian-based mining company, said at the forum that resources can play a bigger role in boosting the country’s overseas investment.

Founded in 1993, the company has invested in countries including Russia, Australia, Canada and South Africa.

It has invested more than 3 billion yuan ($454 million) in mine development in Tuva, a republic in Russia’s southern Siberia which has rich bronze, gold and silver resources.

He said the area had no large-scale mining projects for around 20 years, but this together with the extreme cold posed major challenges in establishing the facilities.

However, it now has more than 1,000 employees, and it is expected to earn 600 to 700 million yuan this year.

He said the rich resources, good relations between China and Russia and support from the local government and communities all persuaded him to invest in the area.

Zhu Lianyu, chairman of Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industry Co Ltd, with more than 20 years of experience in marine equipment, said his company has branches and businesses in all the other four BRICS countries since it built its first shore bridge in Brazil in 1996.

The company has so far installed port cranes in 12 major ports in India.