March 29th, 2016, China Daily: China's largest investor in the Czech Republic is set to increase its total investment in the country to almost $1.5 billion, riding on a wave of Chinese outbound investment targeting Central and Eastern European countries as a crucial part of China's One Belt One Road (OBOR) Initiative. Regarding this, China Daily quotes my comments.
"CEFC’s investment in Czech Republic is definitely a signature for Chinese corporates’ investment along OBOR. It highlights the role of Czech Republic as one of important bridges in linking China to Europe via OBOR strategy. Czech Republic, with a geographical proximity to major western European market, relatively low ratio of labor cost over quality, and highest GDP per capita in 16 CEE countries, can be a notable location and platform for Chinese companies aiming to explore European and Western European markets.
In addition to state-owned firms, private sector firms definitely plays an important role in the (future) OBOR expansion. Their entrepreneurial spirit, persistent entrepreneurial effort, and efficient adaptation from their DNA will help build a updated theory for Chinese firms to catch up during mutual-learning and wealth creation for self, local economies, and partners along OBOR.
Bottom-up economic initiatives such as those done by CEFC in CEE countries are very good examples by Chinese firms to take action in applying and benefiting from OBOR strategy. In order to avoid unnecessary U-turn relationships between countries, to help involved units to gain from such economic-growth-oriented initiative sustainably, and to apply innovation to play against the post-consequences of all sorts of crisis, CEE countries and China have to (1) stand together and build trust with mutual respect economically and politically,(2) to create supportive institutional environment for involved projects and collaborations, and (3) to honestly and transparently share resources as agreed." (4) both sides need to do legal due diligence and draft investment documents carefully, including appropriate dispute resolution clauses (arbitration) [thanks Susan Finder for her great comment from the legal perspective. citing it here.]