The Belt and Road

BRI spurs green moves by central SOEs

China’s centrally administered State-owned enterprises will focus on social responsibility and integrity when developing projects in economies related to the Belt and Road Initiative, said a senior regulator.

Weng Jieming, vice-chairman of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council, said SOEs have benefited from the Belt and Road Initiative in terms of trade, training and agricultural development.

Weng said SOEs have also improved and promoted their corporate images by establishing and promoting consultation, implementing win-win cooperation, and building a community of a shared future for humankind.

For instance, SOEs like China National Petroleum Corp and China Railway Rolling Stock Corp have deployed resources and manpower to help local communities access educational materials. The companies have also helped build wells and have donated to welfare institutions while engaging in activities like manufacturing, procurement and employment.

Weng stressed that central SOEs will continue to uphold the principles of marketization and commercialization, and abide by the laws and regulations of host countries, fulfilling social responsibilities, as well as embracing compliance, openness, inclusiveness, cooperation, high quality, efficiency and harmonious coexistence in markets related to the BRI from a long-term perspective.

China and other partner economies participating in the initiative have achieved fruitful results, Weng said. SOEs have participated in more than 3,000 projects in countries and regions covered by the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

To better compete with their established foreign rivals, many Chinese companies have already realized that the development of Chinese brands in overseas markets should originate from strict and rigorous quality management, said Zhou Lisha, a researcher at SASAC’s research institute.

Centrally administered SOEs reported steady profit growth in the first quarter of 2019 as their combined profits saw year-on-year growth of 13.1 percent to 426.5 billion yuan ($63.5 billion) during the period. Companies in sectors such as mining, defense, transport and construction outperformed the others, data from SASAC show.

China currently has 97 centrally administered SOEs, down from 117 five years ago as a result of the central government’s policy of restructuring SOEs to improve their earning capabilities and efficiency.

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