On the evening of May 19, the “South-South Cooperation Night Talk” was held. The symposium was bisected thematically into two sessions - “China and South-South Countries: Political Relations and Economic and Trade Exchanges” and “China and South-South Countries: Investment and Finance”. Ju Jiandong, Tsinghua PBCSF Unigroup Chair Professor and Chang Jiang Scholar of the Chinese Ministry of Education, hosted the talk. Over 30 distinguished guests from 23 developed and developing countries, including government officials, business leaders, renowned academians, and industry experts attended the conference to discuss the future of trade, investment and finance among South-South countries and China.
At the 2018 South-South Cooperation Night Talk
During the first session on the theme of “China and South-South Countries: Political Relations and Economic and Trade Exchanges”, Stephen Bainous Kargbo, representative of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in Tanzania, Mauritius, and EAC, emphasized the importance of trade deficit, and said that making structural adjustments and shifting trade from resource-oriented to industrial-led model remain a challenging matter. Kargbo thinks the problem that needs to be solved urgently in developing countries is realizing the transition from an agricultural-based economy to an industry-based economy, instead of quickly turning to service. Meanwhile, the cultivation of local talent should be prioritized.
Stephen Bainous Kargbo, representative of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in Tanzania, Mauritius, and EAC
Ian Durant, Deputy Director of the Caribbean Development Bank’s Economics Department, said that among the Caribbean Development Bank member economies, trade relations and other factors between China and the local countries will promote bilateral investment and trade relations as well as bring many employment opportunities to these countries. He cited the increasing cooperation between Chinese financial institutions and Caribbean financial institutions as an example. In 2016, China Development Bank and Caribbean Development Bank jointly held a meeting to explain the cross-border use and internationalization of RMB. Many Caribbean banks now use the RMB as a reserve currency and are actively exploring the potential of the RMB as a major settlement currency for the future.
Ian Durant, Deputy Director of the Caribbean Development Bank’s Economics Department
“I hope there will be more investment from China in terms of manufacturing and development. I think for Africa, these investments are what we really need because they can bring the added value and skills we need to promote and achieve long-term economic development, so we very much hope that China will have more projects in Africa in the future,” said Stephen Jeremy Hanival, Chief Economist of the Department of Trade and Industry of South Africa. He believes that if South Africa really wants to achieve high-speed growth goals, it must change its economic structure. This requires improving infrastructure and providing corresponding services and the most basic conditions for this purpose. Similarly, there is a need for better management of commodity exports.
Stephen Jeremy Hanival, Chief Economist of the Department of Trade and Industry of South Africa
“China-Belarus Industrial Park is a special economic zone jointly managed by Chinese and Belarusian companies. We hope that it will become a new economic growth point for Belarus in the future.” Siarhei Vaitsiakhouski, Deputy General Director of Industrial Park Development Company, stated that this year Belarus has become a member of the Asian Investment Bank (AIIB). Last year, China’s overall investment in Belarus was expected to reach 250 million U.S. dollars. Overall, through the past 12 years, China has invested more than $ 2 billion USD in Belarus. The investment projects mainly comprise industrial parks.
Siarhei Vaitsiakhouski, Deputy General Director of Industrial Park Development Company
During the second session on the theme of “China and South-South Countries: Investment and Finance”, Diego Alberto Indarte, Head of Investments Department of the Central Bank of Uruguay, stated that China and Uruguay have close cooperation in trade, especially in terms of the offshore market. Uruguay has used a lot of RMB in the market, including issuing bonds through RMB，which has largely reduced the pressure from emerging market countries such as Uruguay caused by USD.
Diego Alberto Indarte, Head of Investments Department of the Central Bank of Uruguay,
Hamza Ali Malik, Director of Macroeconomic Policy and Financing for Development Division at United Nation Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), believes that people do not really eliminate the causes of the financial crisis and that it is necessary to establish a truly effective mechanism. Three conditions ought to be fulfilled: first, to achieve a balance between the current account and other accounts; second, to determine the anchor of the global financial system in order to stabilize credit and currency; and thirdly, to strengthen liquidity management.
Hamza Ali Malik, Director of Macroeconomic Policy and Financing for Development Division at United Nation Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)
George Perera, Director of Finance at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), said that South-South countries and other developing countries need special financial support. The financing of South-South cooperation is a good opportunity for China to lead future development and promote cooperation with developing countries. South-South cooperation can improve the local legal environment and policy environment for some countries.
George Perera, Director of Finance at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
Since 2015, Tsinghua PBCSF has successively launched a series of Belt and Road programs, including South-South Education Program for Economics and Finance, Belt and Road Southeast Asia EMBA program, Belt and Road Fintech Advanced Program and national core media training along the Belt and Road initiative. These programs and other international programs have attracted more than 200 government managers, industry financial leaders, entrepreneurs and experienced media professionals from about 50 countries and regions to Tsinghua PBCSF. More than 30 distinguished experts from the Chinese government, academia, and the industry taught the programs, totaling over 600 hours. They talked about a new model of South-South cooperation, proposed in-depth interpretation of the Belt and Road policy, explored new opportunities for Southeast Asian entrepreneurs in China and Chinese entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia as well as prospects for cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative, building a meaningful global exchange platform.