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Australian firms urged to be proactive over Belt and Road Initiative

Melbourne, 23 March 2018: Boase Cohen & Collins Senior Partner Colin Cohen took centre stage in Melbourne today when he gave a presentation on China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to a group of Australian business executives.

In his detailed talk and slideshow, Mr Cohen outlined why the BRI is a game-changer for the global economy, the role being played by Hong Kong and how Australian companies can benefit.

“The Australian Government has been cautious in its approach to the BRI, a stance which has puzzled many observers, but the message to Australian business enterprises is that they should be proactive and go out and seek fresh opportunities. BRI projects are up and running throughout Asia Pacific, if not Australia, and there is a need for professional expertise across multiple industries,” said Mr Cohen.

“It is interesting to note that since 2005 Australia has been the second biggest beneficiary globally of accumulated Chinese investment but the annual growth of this investment is now falling behind other countries, especially those in Asia Pacific that have embraced the BRI.”

Mr Cohen’s presentation took the form of a breakfast briefing at the offices of Russell Kennedy Lawyers, the leading Melbourne law firm which, like Boase Cohen & Collins, is a member of global legal services organisation Ally Law.

“I’m grateful to Russell Kennedy for making me so welcome and inviting a wide selection of important clients and business associates to the presentation. It has been a great example of how Ally Law firms can co-operate and share resources to enhance our business network,” added Mr Cohen.

Unveiled by President Xi Jinping in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative is China’s far-reaching strategy to initiate major infrastructure projects and foster economic co-operation among Asian, European and African countries. It spans more than 60 nations with a combined population of 4.4 billion.

Mr Cohen told the audience that most BRI projects were being led by large Chinese enterprises and that professionals with multi-jurisdictional experience and an international network – for example, Ally Law – were in great demand.

Ally Law utilises close co-operation between members to help clients overcome their international legal and business challenges. The organisation comprises more than 65 independent law firms in over 40 jurisdictions. Mr Cohen is a past President and is currently Chairman of its Expansion Committee.

Melbourne PHOTO

BC&C Senior Partner Colin Cohen gives his presentation to business executives in Melbourne.