The EU SME Centre’s Advocacy team organised an SME Policy Meeting in Beijing on November 12th to introduce the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative to key stakeholders and underline the opportunities for European SMEs.
Senior Policy & Advocacy Manager of EU SME Centre opened the session followed by two presentations from Peter Williams – Director of the China-Britain Business Council (CBBC) – and David Kelly Head of Governance and Law, and Geopolitics Teams at China Policy which gave participants a practical insight into the political and business aspects created by OBOR.
“In a context where we are submerged by a flood of information on One Belt, One Road, David Kelly’s presentation provided real added-value by bringing in his deep knowledge of China’s internal decision-making systems and the real rationale behind the initiative”, said Ignacio Asenjo, EU Delegation to China.
The CBBC has recently published a report about OBOR (now available on the CBBC website). Mr Williams presented the big picture of One Belt One Road (OBOR) for SMEs and the overall opportunities inside China. Key opportunities lie in sectors such as healthcare, culture, tourism and education. There are also significant opportunities in retail for SMEs. Companies can sell directly to consumers through cross border B2C routes, benefitting from preferential tax policies that lower the retail cost, thus making these companies more competitive.
Mr Kelly focussed on external opportunities for third countries and also the risks involved, introducing ‘Going Global 2.0’ and the strategy behind OBOR in presenting the institutional voice in the international community.
The panel discussion at the end of the session helped the audience to understand the interaction between the political and business aspects of OBOR.
“My colleagues, the head of the political department and our maritime officer, and I all found the ‘double seminar’ on OBOR and Going Global 2.0 very useful”, said Mathias Juel Jensen from the Royal Danish Embassy.