2017-10-16 09:30:00 to 2017-10-16 18:00:00

Conference

The Belt and Road

China’s flagship initiative and its implications for the global economy

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Chatham House London

In the lead-up to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China on 18 October 2017, the inaugural Chatham House ‘Belt and Road’ conference will assess the current shape and form of China’s flagship initiative to strengthen physical, economic and financial connectivity between China and countries in Asia, as well as with Europe and Africa, in the context of current geopolitical and economic trends.

Announced in 2013, the ‘Belt and Road’ remains broadly defined as a reference framework to develop more specific ad hoc policy initiatives, with the over-arching ambition that it will help to ‘realize diversified, independent, balanced and sustainable development’. It supports investment into a wide variety of infrastructure, including road, rail, port, energy and air traffic projects, and channels financial and non-financial resources into the ‘Silk Road Economic Belt’, the ancient Silk Road that linked China to Europe, and into the ‘21st Century Maritime Silk Road’, a network of maritime trade routes that connect South and Southeast Asia to Africa and Europe.

This conference will examine the evolving framework of the ‘Belt and Road’ including political and strategic considerations for its future, what it means for countries in its intended sphere, and the role of governments, international institutions, developers and investors in realizing its potential.

Discussions will address topics including:

  • ‘Belt and Road’ in the context of China’s geo-economic priorities and global political developments;
  • Regulatory, financial stability and governance issues for the ‘Belt and Road’;
  • Developing large-scale, sustainable infrastructure projects, mobilizing investment and enabling technology transfers;
  • Innovation in project finance in terms of instruments, currencies and markets.

The Chatham House Rule 
To enable as open a debate as possible, this conference will be held under the Chatham House Rule.

Twitter 
#CHBRI

Monday 16 October
09:10

Session One | The Belt and Road: building new economic, trade and financial connections
09:10 - 11:15

Since the launch of the ‘Belt and Road’ in 2013, China’s political and economic ambitions for developing the initiative have only been broadly defined. In parallel with the official aim that it will support sustainable development, motivations include the promotion of outward investment by Chinese firms and increasing trade with other emerging ‘Silk Road’ economies to providing an outlet for excess industrial and investment capacity for Chinese firms and financial institutions. This session will focus on the potential for disruption of existing trade and financial relations and how the ‘Belt and Road’ Initiative can create new economic, business and geopolitical dynamics in the region.

Welcome and chair's opening remarks
Dr Linda Yueh, Fellow in Economics, St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford and Adjunct Professor of Economics, London Business School

Speakers
HE Liu Xiaoming, Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to the UK
Lord Jim O’Neill, Chairman, City Growth Commission, and Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (2015 -16)

Questions and discussion

Panel discussion

Moderator
Tim Summers, Senior Consulting Fellow, Asia Programme, Chatham House

Panellists
Jonathan E Hillman, Fellow and Director of the Reconnecting Asia Project, Center for Strategic and International Studies
Jinny Yan, Chief China Economist, ICBC Standard Bank
Zhang Xiang, Secretary-General and Director of Strategy, China International Contractors Association (CHINCA)

Questions and discussion

11:15 - 11:45 Refreshments

Session Two | Infrastructure investment and China’s changing role in development finance
11:45 - 13:00

There is currently a gap of roughly $1 trillion from present funding levels to meet the infrastructure funding needs of countries in the intended sphere of the ‘Belt and Road’. This is despite engagement from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Central and East Asia remain among the most significant regions constituting this gap. China has taken significant steps to address this, through the chartering of two development banks, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the New Development Bank (NDB), which also have complementary goals to the ‘Belt and Road’.

  • The roles of multilateral and bilateral development finance: how to promote complementarity and minimize rivalry among development banks to plug the infrastructure investment gap
  • The role of markets – including international financial centres like London - in financing large-scale infrastructure projects 
  • Who needs to borrow and who needs to lend: developing a corporate bond market in the region
  • The role of green finance and green bonds in leveraging additional finance

Chair
Stefania Palma, Asia Editor, The Banker

Speakers
Yasuyuki Sawada, Chief Economist and Director General, Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department, Asian Development Bank
Tim Summers, Senior Consulting Fellow, Asia Programme, Chatham House
Frans-Paul van der Putten, Senior Research Fellow, Clingendael
Tom Miller, Senior Asia Analyst and Managing Editor, CEQ, Gavekal

Questions and discussion

13:00 - 14:00 Lunch

Session Three | International engagement: perceptions, realities, risks, and project challenges
14:00 - 15:30

This session will assess how the ‘Belt and Road’ is currently perceived and engaged with by international governments and institutions. It will also examine what steps are being considered by these actors that might facilitate or impede international cooperation with China on project development.

  • How does the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ fit into the strategic interests and economic goals of countries in ASEAN, Central Asia and Europe? 
  • How will the UK government’s strategy for economic engagement with China affect UK involvement in ‘Belt and Road’ projects?
  • What constitutes a ‘Belt and Road’ project and what are the routes into these projects for non-Chinese companies?
  • To what extent will the EU’s rules-based system – on issues including environment sustainability and project transparency – affect the shape and design of ’Belt and Road’ projects?

Chair
Tanya Beckett, Journalist, BBC

Speakers
Lord James Sassoon, Executive Director, Jardine Matheson Holdings, and Chairman, China Britain Business Council
HE Dr Rizal Sukma, Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Kingdom and Ireland
Yerzhan Saltybayev, Director, Institute of World Economics and Politics
Dr Huw McKay, Vice President, Market Analysis & Economics, BHP

Questions and discussion

15:30 - 16:00 Afternoon refreshments

Session Four | Engaging business: scaling up sustainable investment
16:00 - 17:30

China has expressed an interest in developing the ‘Belt and Road’ as a framework for international investment, where Western corporates and investors can partner with Chinese institutions to deliver projects. Given the large size of the initiative, China will need significant international funding commitments to successfully develop these projects. This session will examine what steps have already been taken in that direction, how such partnerships could be structured, and what obstacles will have to be overcome.

  • What mechanisms are in place, or are needed, to enable the ‘Belt and Road’ to address problems commonly encountered in large-scale infrastructure projects, including political and environmental risks?
  • How can cooperation between Western and Chinese firms on ‘Belt and Road’ projects contribute towards the development of international financial accounting and reporting standards, including for sustainable infrastructure and green finance?
  • How can the relationship between private investors, multilateral development banks, and the Chinese government be managed to maximize the amount of financing available? How can cooperation between these actors help increase the number of bankable, and avoid crowding out of private financing?
  • How will the levels of financing required for ‘Belt and Road’ ventures affect demand for the renminbi in international financial centres?

Speakers
Alison Hoare, Senior Research Fellow, Energy, Environment and Resources, Chatham House
Sue Anne Tay, Director, China and RMB Internationalisation, Group Strategy, HSBC 
Sherry Madera, Special Adviser for Asia, City of London Corporation
Huw Jenkins, Consultant, Clifford Chance

Questions and discussion

17:30 End of conference and reception hosted by Chatham House

© The Royal Institute of International Affairs 2017

 

Keynote speakers

Speakers

Tanya Beckett, Journalist, BBC

Tanya Beckett

Journalist, BBC

Jonathan Hillman to speak at the Chatham House conference on The Belt and Road

Jonathan Hillman

Fellow and Director of the Reconnecting Asia Project, Center for Strategic and International Studies

Alison Hoare to speak at the Chatham House conference on The Belt and Road

Alison Hoare

Senior Research Fellow, Energy, Environment and Resources, Chatham House

Huw Jenkins to speak at Chatham House's The Belt and Road conference 2017

Huw Jenkins

Consultant, Clifford Chance

Sherry Madera to speak at the Chatham House conference on The Belt and Road

Sherry Madera

Special Adviser for Asia, City of London Corporation

Dr Huw McKay to speak at the Chatham House Belt and Road conference

Dr Huw McKay

Vice President, Market Analysis & Economics, BHP

Tom Miller to speak at Chatham House conference on the Belt and Road

Tom Miller

Senior Asia Analyst and Managing Editor, CEQ, Gavekal

Stefania Palma to speak at the Chatham House conference on The Belt and Road

Stefania Palma

Asia Editor, The Banker

Yerzhan Saltybayev

Director, Institute of World Economics and Politics

Lord James Sassoon to speak at Chatham House's The Belt and Road conference 2017

Lord James Sassoon

Executive Director, Jardine Matheson Holdings, and Chairman, China Britain Business Council

Yasuyuki Sawada, Chief Economist and Director General, Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department, Asian Development Bank

Yasuyuki Sawada

Chief Economist and Director General, Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department, Asian Development Bank

HE Dr Rizal Sukma to speak at the Chatham House Belt and Road conference

HE Dr Rizal Sukma

Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Kingdom and Ireland

Tim Summers to speak at the Chatham House conference on The Belt and Road

Tim Summers

Senior Consulting Fellow, Asia Programme, Chatham House

Sue Anne Tay

Director, China and RMB Internationalisation, Group Strategy, HSBC

Dr Frans-Paul van der Putten to speak at the Chatham House conference on The Belt and Road

Dr Frans-Paul van der Putten

Senior Research Fellow, Clingendael

Zhang Xiang to speak at Chatham House conference on the Belt and Road

Zhang Xiang

Secretary-General and Director of Strategy, China International Contractors Association (CHINCA)

Jinny Yan to speak at Chatham House conference on the Belt and Road

Jinny Yan

Chief China Economist, ICBC Standard Bank

Dr Linda Yueh to speak at the Chatham House Global Trade 2016 conference

Dr Linda Yueh

Fellow in Economics, St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford and Adjunct Professor of Economics, London Business School

Pricing and booking information 

Ways to book:

  1. Online: Click here to complete the online registration form
  2. Phone: Call Louisa Troughton on +44 (0)20 7957 5727
  3. Email / Post: Download a PDF registration form, complete and return to Charlotte Laycock via email or post: Chatham House, 10 St. James’s Square, London, SW1Y 4LE
 

RATE (+VAT)
 

  
Partners and major corporate members 
All organizations£595
Standard corporate members 
Commercial organizations£1,180
Government departments£700
NGOs and academics£460
Non-members 
Commercial organizations£1,295
Government departments£750
NGOs and academics£510

Your delegate pass includes:

  • Conference attendance
  • Documentation
  • Lunch and refreshments

Travel and accommodation are not included. View a list of recommended hotels here.

Sponsorship

ICBC Standard Bank to sponsor the Chatham House conference on The Belt and Road

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor for this event, please contact
Kamil Hussain on +44 (0) 20 7314 2783

Supporting partners

China-Britain Business Council to partner with Chatham House on the Belt and Road conference

TheCityUK to partner with Chatham House on The Belt and Road conference

Maritime UK to partner with Chatham House on The Belt and Road conference

Media partners

Foreign Affairs

The Banker to partner with Chatham House on The Belt and Road

If you are interested in becoming a media partner for this event, please contact
Amy Smith on +44 (0)20 7957 5755

Venue

Chatham House
10 St James's Square
London
SW1Y 4LE
UK
conferences@chathamhouse.org

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7314 2785
Fax: +44 (0)20 7957 5710

If you wish to book the venue for your own event please phone +44 (0)20 7314 2764

Directions
The nearest tube station is Piccadilly Circus which is on the Piccadilly and the Bakerloo Underground lines. From Piccadilly follow Regent Street southwards towards Pall Mall and take the first road on the right called Jermyn Street. Duke of York Street is the second road on the left and leads to St James's Square. Chatham House is immediately on your right.

Map

Accommodation
Although we cannot book accommodation for delegates, we have arranged a reduced rate at some nearby hotels, where you can book your own accommodation. Please inform the hotel that you will be attending a conference at Chatham House (The Royal Institute of International Affairs) to qualify for the Institute's reduced rate.

Please note all rates are subject to availability.

Flemings Mayfair
13 Half Moon Street
Mayfair
London - W1J 7BH

Tel: + 44 (0)20 7499 2964
Fax: + 44 (0)20 7499 1817
reservations@flemings.co.uk

Classic Double without breakfast: £195 +VAT

The Cavendish London
81 Jermyn Street
London - SW1U 6JF

Tel: + 44 (0)20 7930 2111
Fax: + 44 (0)20 7839 2125
enquiry.cavendish@the-ascott.com 

Classic Room without breakfast: £205 +VAT

Book The Cavendish online

The Stafford London 
St James's Place
London - SW1A 1NJ

Tel: 020 7493 0111
Fax: 020 7493 7121
​reservations@thestaffordlondon.com

Classic Queen without breakfast: £247 +VAT
Quote Chatham House

 

Press registration

This conference will be held under the Chatham House Rule. Information for journalists.

Press can request a press pass.

Contact us 

For enquiries relating to the conference agenda or sponsorship please call Kamil Hussain on 
+44 (0)20 7314 2783

For booking enquiries please call Louisa Troughton on +44 (0)20 7957 5727

For general enquiries please email conferences@chathamhouse.org