BRI and the new World Order I: Sustainability vs. Exploitation, Equality vs Nationalism

Small talks about timocracy, nationalism and interconnection with the technological progress and
development in the USA and China are among themes raised for discussions. Sustainability that many
companies try to stick to is another significant step for global changes.
The moderator: Dr. Urs Lustenberger. Speakers: Henry Lee, Fabian Gull, Yun Cheng, Igor Almazov, Dr. Lin Boqiang.
Dr. Urs Lustenberger, Partner of Lustenberger Law Firm Zurich, Chairman of Swiss-Asian Chamber of Commerce, Zurich, Switzerland has a small talk about the theme of the panel. Nowadays power system undergoes some changes: new power arises, some of the powers struggle to keep their places. Democracy is considered to reach their limit while populism is arising. We are currently on shifting grounds. The Belt and Road initiatives bring ideas and concepts of neglecting superpowers into the eyesight where it goes through. Switzerland can play an especially important role, having a traditionally neutral stand allowing academically neutral discussions. Rules and order are shifting now, and it is very crucial how we think and refer to these shifts.

Henry Lee, Managing Partner, Hendale Group HK considers that the world is becoming unilateral where USA does what it wants enforcing other countries go where it would like to go. But these countries can benefit from this position becoming stronger meantime. Two schools of thought are developed: Economics with timocracy and economic development without timocracy. There is a prevailing western thought in the world that with economic progress timocracy comes. At the same time there are other opinions that we can have economic development without timocracy in the western sense.

Speaking about investments, cross border is always a trend i.e. Western capital comes to Asia, but it is difficult when it comes to minority right, cultural differences.

Fabian Gull, Managing Editor, Journalist, Swiss Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Switzerland. Western countries struggle to understand economic success and prosperity of China and whether it can be implemented into democratic society ruled by one party. However, Europe also observes centralism and nationalism in China and thinks about the possibility of its own changes. Innovations are only possible in open societies; but China proves its misconception to be wrong.

From European point of view BRI is viewed rather critically and it is different from Chinese thoughts, that follows Chinese first strategy which is natural and understandable. All in all, China continues to be a contradiction, presenting every country challenges and opportunities. It is all about finding a balance between these two. Fabian believes that BRI is a tool to expand China's richness and influence.

Yun Cheng, Chairman of Fosun Fashion Group, Chairman of Lanvin, Global Partner of Fosun International, China. Fashion industry is a big one, but 30% of garments are not used at all. To produce a cotton T-short it needs 700 gallons of water which is equal to 7 years water consumption by person. 20% pollution on our planet is because of fashion industry and these numbers are shocking. However nowadays people are becoming more and more concerned about environment and buy things environment friendly. Some luxury brands stop using fur for protection of the earth. Yun Cheng pays attention to the importance of support of manufacturers and plants with the usage of wind, solar systems, and to the importance of energy leakage protection etc.

Wolford company is a player on fashion market with its holistic approach and sustainability concept. The product is packed and given to its partner who has biodegrading facilities and then produces the gas. Wolford buys the gas for its production. By 2025 it is expected to get to 50% of circular economy.

Igor Almazov, Power Grid, ABB Power Grids Schweiz AG, Baden, Switzerland. ABB has its branches in more than 100 countries (In Caspian regions in Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia) and mostly works in electricity and industrial automation. All superpowers are represented in the Great Caspian Region. Countries protect themselves having the regulation to support local manufacturers by giving additional discounts. Sustainability focuses on three components: health and safety, quality and digitalization and they need to be followed to achieve more than we have now.

Dr. Lin Boqiang, Changjiang Scholar Distinguished Professor; Dean, China Institute for Energy Policy Studies at Xiamen University, China thinks if there is a demand, there will be supply. Secondly, developed countries should understand what poor countries need. Technologies do not solve the problems nowadays. Dr. Lin Boqiang thinks we need to change consumers' behavior first by producing cheap but sustainable goods.

The moderator: Dr. Urs Lustenberger. Speakers: Henry Lee, Fabian Gull, Yun Cheng, Igor Almazov, Dr. Lin Boqiang.