Backing China's diplomatic trade initiative for a new Silk Road, emerging markets investor Mark Mobius has said that the U.S. must join the plan being touted as the project of the century.
The U.S. will have to join this effort because there is a lot of benefit to be achieved by American companies, Mobius, chairman of Templeton Emerging Markets Group, said in an interview with Bloomberg. China will be careful to not give undue favours to Chinese companies, he said.
There’s going to be enough for everyone, let’s put it that way.Mark Mobius, Chairman, Templeton Emerging Markets Group
President Xi-Jinping laid out an ambitious framework described as the Belt and Road Initiative, pledging to invest $78 billion for participating nations at a two-day forum to inauguarate the program. The plan is to revive an ancient trade route called the Silk Route which connected the Middle East Kingdom, Central Asia and Europe. Countries along the route account for about a fifth of the global trade, with China betting that the number is set to go up.
China has been increasingly trying to adopt the image as the champion of global trade, most notably since Xi's speech in Davos earlier this January. This has been in contrast to the U.S. where President Donald Trump's protectionist policies have eroded public support for globalisation.
Mobius said that while Central Asian countries will benefit the most, Europe too is “going to get a piece of the action”.
Trade (for Europe) will increase dramatically once this whole program is completed.Mark Mobius, Chairman, Templeton Emerging Markets Group
On the slowing Chinese economy, he said the country will meet its 6 percent growth target even with the Asian giant restricting its capital outflows.