US giants hitch a ride on New Silk Road

New Silk Road: Although US President Donald Trump declined to join other world leaders including Russia’s President Putin at this week’s Belt and Road summit in Beijing, several US-based multinationals are now angling aggressively for a slice of the action that President Xi’s dream of resurrecting the old Silk Road trade routes between China and Europe and some of them are succeeding.
Three years ago, for instance, Chinese construction and engineering companies ordered just $400 million worth of equipment from General Electric (GE), principally for installation along the One Belt One Road OBOR transport network; last year, those orders had risen to  $2.3bn, with  GE planning  to bid for an additional $7bn in orders for natural-gas turbines and other power equipment in roughly the next 18 months.
Elsewhere Citibank last month won a contract from Bank of China to handle a complex $3bn bond offering last month to raise money for the opening of branches across Asia, Eastern Europe and East Africa, while the technology and manufacturing company Honeywell International is selling equipment to Central Asia for processing natural gas.
While President Xi has consistently packaged OBOR as a global vision that will benefit everybody concerned, however, that reality is that one of the major drivers behind the project is China’s need to absorb its industrial overcapacity and to open up new markets for its manufacturing and construction sectors. As  a result, companies pitching for work will find themselves facing stiff competition from Chinese firms and may need to manufacture more of their equipment in China rather than the US. 
But GE China, is according to CEO Rachel Duan, in it for the long term.”When the roads are built, when the ports are built, when the power plants are built, I think the other opportunities will come,” she predicts.

Source: nytimes