London has become the latest European city to join the China-Europe
rail freight routes. The first UK-bound train left Yiwu on China’s east
coast in January 2017 to journey across Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus and
the EU and arrived at the freight terminal in Barking within 16 days.
The service is symbolic of the economic ties between the UK and
China, underpinned by the One Belt and One Road Initiative (OBOR)
announced by the Chinese government in 2013, which promised over a
trillion dollars to develop transport, energy, and trade infrastructure
from Western China to Eastern Europe.
The Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by the Chinese government has
the intention of promoting economic prosperity in more than 64 countries
from East Asia to Western Europe with an aim to facilitate unimpeded
trade and achieve mutual understanding. It's a win-win scenario in which
more than 40 cooperative agreements and memorandums of understanding
have been signed among China and other countries along the routes within
The term of OBOR has deep root reference to the original Silk Road,
or Silk Route which got its name because of the large volumes of trade
in that commodity which passed along that route, commencing in the days
of the Han Dynasty in China (BC 207 – 220). China had been expanding for
a hundred years before – reaching out and exploring.
The imperial envoy Zhang Qian is often named as the initiator of
activities intended to protect Chinese trade and at the same time – also
for protection – extended the Great Wall continuously.
China must be afforded credit for the commencement and development of
the first great terrestrial trade and cultural development which
progressively changed the world – eventually connecting Europe with
Arabia, North Africa, what was at that time Persia, India and China.
Very many races and tribes were embraced, in what some might say was
one of the earliest examples of globalisation. There were maritime trade
routes also established from about the same time involving more, India,
Arabia and the Roman Empire. But The Silk Road was clearly a world
At a time today when the geopolitical situation is in some state of
turmoil and wherein nationalism and protectionism is rearing its head in
different forms, it is a sign of great hope to many of us that the
Chinese government and nation has embarked on a huge and bold initiative
to recreate and extend the Silk Road Economic Belt and at the same time
invest in a 21st century Maritime Silk Road strategy.
The objectives of this exciting and far reaching plan include
enhancing the orderly free flow of economic factors and the efficient
allocation of resources. The intention is to enable or improve market
integration and create a regional economic co-operation framework of
benefit to all.
In March 2015, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC)
of China issued its Vision and Actions on Jointly Building the Silk Road
Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. The Belt and Road
Initiative aims to connect Asia, Europe and Africa along five routes.
It is anticipated that the One Belt One Road project initiated by the
Chinese government will usher in a renewed era of trade and cooperation
alongside the path of the silk road of ancient days. Financial
institutions, taking advantage of this economic and political tendency,
have seen the potential for years to come. Most of all, it is
anticipated that an index product would unleash the capital flows into
sectors and countries affected by the initiative, while fostering the
innovation of financial instruments that meet the ever-growing appetite
of global investors.
BBD, a new joiner to the Cambridge technology cluster, is a
China-rooted big data company that is leading the tendency of real time
based analytics for economic development and driving for better
investment decisions. The company, with sophisticated algorithm and
service provision, offers products that enable in depth analysis and
measurement of economic and financial activities and performance. These
capabilities extend far beyond simple risk analysis software to a range
of measures and big data enabled Indices which allow forward projections
to meet the needs of governments, companies and investors.
Zeng Tu, CEO of BBD China
Zeng Tu, CEO of BBD China, said: “The Belt and Road Initiative gives
birth to the One Belt One Road Index. Business will flourish along the
belt road, generating significant growth. The ingenuity from BBD
developers will enable extraordinary new measurements to be made. It is
surely an unprecedented product in support of the OBOR, which will give
opportunities to financial institutions to meet global investors.”
It is clear that The Belt and Road Initiative has vast potential to
give momentum to strategic co-operation amongst the various
participants. Huge opportunities exist for investment as well as
co-operation in infrastructure development, energy, transportation
exploitation of new technologies and progress in other sectors, for
$14 Bn investment - Due to the fast progress of the B&R,
Chinese enterprises have invested a total of more than 14 billion U.S.
dollars in countries along the route.
35 per cent of World’s GDP – It is estimated that the B&R will
engage as much as 63 per cent of the global population in locations
representing 35 per cent of the world’s GDP and will enhance economic
60,000 Job Growth – Launched only three years ago, the B&R has made very significant progress in creating 60,000 new jobs.
1,400 projects – So far, more than 1,400 major projects are in the
pipeline, covering more than 10 key industries including steel,
electronics, automobiles and equipment-making, etc.
By tracking the economic, political and investment connectivity
amongst countries in relation to China, using BBD's cutting-edge big
data technology for real-time data analysis, BBD is proud to offer
global investors the “One Belt And One Road” (OBOR) index. The index has
been constructed and is published monthly to track and measure the
progress of the OBOR-oriented economic activities between China and the
countries along the routes.
One Belt One Road OBOR Index Portal
The OBOR aims to provide a forward-looking indicator, adding crucial
value for optimising returns from investment. Since the OBOR initiative
represents a core part of the geopolitical strategic framework of China,
the Index is designed to provide efficient guidance for cross-border
communications to improve financial institutions’ influence in the
region and achieve mutual development.
The Index is also expected to be widely implemented among countries
as a general gauge of the OBOR to provide benchmarks for policymakers to
get in-depth assessments and to drive further collaborations.
￼BBD has developed an entire spectrum of real time enabled indices
and positioned itself as the global leader in big data driven real time
Among its many indices, NEI (New Economy Index), published monthly,
uses big data analysis to track changes in contribution to overall
economic activity in nine sectors of China’s New Economy and providing a
high level view of ongoing structural changes in the balance between
the Old Economy and New Economy, the NEI dives deeper into the capital,
labour and technological inputs driving change across the New Economy
and within new economy sectors and industries.
Current statistics can show investors which large areas of China’s
economy are experiencing acceleration or deceleration. They fail to show
the relative change in scale between China’s old economy and new
economy sectors. Additionally, the emphasis has largely been on
traditional sectors, which explains why unofficial indicators such as
the “Li Keqiang index” have been popular with investors.
However, the inability to measure the New Economy adds to the
difficulty and confusion in accurately forecasting GDP growth and
increases market uncertainty in China’s growth potential and
New Economy Index
Dr Chen Qin, BBD’s chief economist, shared his view on why NEI is
seen as a revolutionary tool that aims to provide deeper insight into
the changing characteristics of China’s economy to improve transparency
and forecasting accuracy. By tracking 11 sub-industries from the nine
new economy sectors, NEI is able to capture economic patterns in real
time, detailing trends impacting the new economy development in China.
The NEI and its sub-indices are thus an important set of indicators
that can be used to follow emerging patterns and understand the pace of
structural transition as the path for the New Economy gradually
Since the release of NEI in Beijing in March 2016 and subsequent
showcasing in London in April 2016 at the same time of the launch of BBD
UK, NEI has been adopted by a number of leading media players,
including the FT and Bloomberg, focusing on the tendency of real time
driven economic measurement.
Being highly endorsed by the Chinese government, NEI is broadly
recognised as an innovative index that is much needed by the Chinese
economy, offering a fresh approach to examine economic development,
enabling policy makers, economists and the wider business and investment
communities to take a much closer look at the new sectors that drive
There are number of other innovative indices forming the family of
BBD’s big data indices, such as the New Energy Vehicles Economic Index
(NEVEI), an integrated index to describe the development of new energy
vehicles in China including sale, infrastructure investment, relevant
policies and consumption trends, and enterprise behaviours. Being
regarded as a sub-index of NEI, NEVEI enables policy-makers in
government and enterprises to gain in-depth understanding of new energy
vehicles markets, to make efficient economic decisions.
BBD has recently released its latest member of its index family-BBD
New & Renewable Energy Industry Index (NREI). NREI is expected to
dynamically monitor and comprehensively depict the latest development
trends of the new energy industry. NREI provides an innovative tool to
supply-side structural reform in China and will also be a benchmark for
relevant enterprises to enhance their strategic planning.
BBD’s ambition travels far beyond its current index products. By
taking unprecedented steps, BBD has been working with a number of
crowdfunding research institutions in China and abroad, and soon, the
firm will offer the first-ever global crowdfunding index.
This would cover a vast scale of real time transactions across large
numbers of crowdfunding platforms, providing the most comprehensive
crowdfunding data source and analytics available to investors,
regulators and policy makers.