SINGAPORE (Dec 17): Innovation is a key driver of development in China, with some areas, such as Shenzhen’s Qianhai, identified as key leaders. Regional cooperation and innovation among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) assists in spreading the benefits of this growth area.

Cooperation often starts at industry level but, as I discussed at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation SME forum in Shenzhen last week, times have changed. As the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) develops, the promotion of regional cooperation is very much the responsibility of industry association bodies and regional organisations such as Apec. Innovation cannot thrive without regional cooperation.

Business councils must show how BRI is compatible with national development policies and they must encourage government and business to engage with BRI policy.

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