Overall: Best research house for BRI 2020
China International Capital Corp is known for its rigorous research on the Belt and Road Initiative. This year, the firm’s research department, led by chief economist Peng Wensheng, doubled down on its bottom-up research approach, even in the shadow of the pandemic.
CICC set up a BRI office in January 2018, including a four-person research team dedicated to the initiative. In the middle of last year, CICC launched a new research product, ‘CICC Qian Shao’, which roughly translates as ‘CICC Outpost’. The product features a series of research reports all based on on-site research and face-to-face interviews. By doing so, the firm said it hoped to integrate “little truths” into its “big macro” research.
During a week-long trip to Hanoi and Ho Chi Min City in December last year, CICC’s research team visited more than a dozen Chinese and local enterprises in different industries. After that, CICC published one of its biggest reports on Vietnam, an important BRI country.
In June 2019, against the backdrop of the US-China trade war, the team visited almost 30 export-oriented companies in the Pearl River Delta region and Yangtze River Delta region to get first-hand information on how well these companies are faring during the trade war.
CICC published ‘Will the supply chain move out of China?’ following the trip, and concluded that most corporations have been actively exploring the European and southeast Asia markets. Some are considering moving the supply chain to Vietnam and Thailand.
The firm also published its second annual white book on the BRI, zooming in on the investment opportunities and going a step further than just analyzing trading policies and generic country characteristics.