SINGAPORE (Oct 22): Business councils must show how China’s Belt and Road Initiative is compatible with national development policies and they must encourage government and business to engage with BRI policy. They must overcome the barriers to understanding. This was the focus of my discussion at the Belt and Road International Business Cooperation conference held in Zhangjiajie by the Silk Road Chamber of International Commerce.

This has become even more important as US President Donald Trump has increased his destruction of the global trading environment. This is a serious economic challenge but, fortunately, BRI provides an alternative structure that supports the World Trade Organization (WTO) and other cross-border trade processes. The first task as business organisations is to help members and governments understand the foundation of BRI so they can counterbalance the anti-trade narrative from the US that is distorting good policymaking in other economies.

The second task is to accurately recognise the barriers that are being created and work towards overturning them by promoting policy discussion with business and government leaders.

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