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Belt and Road Could Be a Windfall for Western Companies, Fortune Says

Dec. 13, 2016 (EIRNS)—The latest issue of Fortune magazine has an extensive article covering China’s Belt and Road Initiative. The Belt and Road, Fortune notes, “is at least 12 times the size of the Marshall Plan” and is

“sparking optimism among big Western engineering and construction conglomerates that see bigger growth opportunities in these countries than they do in Europe, in the U.S. (even under an infrastructure-friendly Trump administration), or in China itself.”

While expressing “suspicions” about Chinese intentions with the project, it begrudgingly admits that the project could provide a windfall for those Western companies prepared to join in it.

Fortune quotes CEO Rachel Duan of GE Greater China, who calls the Belt and Road “a very big deal for GE.” GE Greater China’s

“$8 billion division has 23,000 employees whose main business is partnering with Chinese companies across 34 countries producing everything from wind turbines to oil pipeline equipment,”

Fortune writes. Duan says that GE has operations in 60 of the 65 countries associated with the Belt project. “These are hard projects,” Duan says, explaining why Chinese partners are calling on GE. “No single company can pull them off.”

Fortune then expresses scepticismb as to whether the project will be successful “in the long run,” but has to admit that “in the short run, Belt and Road is creating opportunities for Chinese companies and big multinationals alike—ones that their shareholders can’t ignore.” The article notes that companies like GE, Siemens, ABB, and Honeywell are already heavily involved in Belt and Road projects. “Ultimately, Belt and Road should create a total of $10 billion to $20 billion in additional annual sales for the companies over the next few years, PwC estimates” Fortune notes.

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