Chinese economy was made by muscle, but now it's using brain
The Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by China in 2013, aims to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road trade routes. It has won support from over 100 countries and international organizations.
In his speech, Lehmann, who is also the founder of the Evian Group, said the initiative, involving $2.5 trillion and infusing 1.75 percent surplus into the world's gross domestic product (GDP), could bring huge economic benefits, if some challenges, like the new-asset quality and social unrest in some of the areas within the network, are overcome.
Reminding that "the narrative of the 21st century will be written in Asia by the Asians, and above all, by China as a regional and global power," Lehmann said that "China is already the main market for many countries, from Brazil to France ... there are Chinese interests across the world, from Seattle to Djibouti."
China's global dimension is already obvious, he suggested. "The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), set up in 2016, attracted even the US allies, and Obama failed to prevent them from joining the AIIB. China already set up 110 economic zones in 50 countries. In Xi'an (a city in China's northwest), the Summit of the Silk Road gathered 500 participants from 52 countries," he said.
Some 25 percent of the world economic growth comes from China, the expert said, adding that by 2030, China will become a high-income economy with strong harmonious relations and driven by creativity and power of ideas.
"The Chinese economy was made by muscle, but now it's getting more with the brain, but many do not understand this!" ■