The total revenue of the Chinese companies from contracted engineering projects in the countries participating in the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) Initiative increased by 17.8 per cent in the first half of 2018, according to data from the Ministry of Commerce. This happens at a time when Beijing is looking at serious economic constraints imposed by President Trump’s administration.

The revenues of the Chinese companies from these projects amounted to a total of USD 38.95 billion, which is 53.5 percent of the country’s total revenue, the Ministry statement said.

The Chinese companies signed over 1900 new engineering projects in 61 countries of the One Belt, One Road Initiative totalling $47.79 billion.

The ministry also stated that direct investments made by Chinese companies in the countries of the initiative decreased by 15 percent and was $7.68 billion over the same period. The main destinations for Chinese FDI include Singapore, Laos, Malaysia, Vietnam, Pakistan, Indonesia, Thailand and Cambodia.

The OBOR Initiative facilitates China and the countries involved in it to achieve greater consensus on the construction of infrastructure, which was previously an obstacle to the economic development of Asia. This year marks fifth anniversary since the inauguration of the initiative aimed at promoting joint development between the participating countries.

The countries of Asia, Africa and Europe require trillion dollars for roads, railways, ports and power stations. China’s money and expertise can be of great help to spread wealth and prosperity.

But the initiative also has a strategic element for regional security. One of the motives of China is to strengthen the stability of its western flange by helping the Central Asian countries to prosper aims at lowering the risk of outbreaks of radical Islam terrorism.

Our neighbouring countries in the Western Balkans are also fully exploiting and participating in a number of public-private partnerships with China. It has just recently become clear that Serbia will receive EUR 943 million from Chinese investors for the construction of the third part of the high-speed railway connecting Belgrade with Budapest, which must improve transport communications between the region and the rest of Europe.