The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) should be admired for reviving and reimagining the historic Silk Road trade routes that connected the people of Asia, Europe, and Africa, Rani Jarkas, chairman of the Cedrus Group, said during the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF). Jarkas is one of the over 1,200 representatives from more than 80 countries and regions who attended the BRF held on Tuesday and Wednesday in Beijing.
Since the inception of the BRI, Cedrus has been following its latest developments and making strategic investments in the opportunities that it brings. Cedrus commends the BRI for its positive global socio-economic impact over the past decade, in line with the vision for a community with a shared future, Jarkas said, noting that Cedrus will continue to look for attractive opportunities for capital deployment in the BRI, including those arising from the Digital BRI.
Cedrus Wealth Management: Private & Investment Banking Services
A global Swiss financial group founded in 2001, Cedrus offers private wealth management, investment management, and investment banking services. Cedrus’ China headquarters are located in Beijing and Hong Kong, with European headquarters in Zurich and further offices in Shanghai, Hainan, and Shenzhen. In May 2023, Cedrus hosted the inauguration of its new Asia-Pacific headquarters in Beijing’s Chaoyang district, further strengthening its presence in China.
With over two decades of experience advising and investing in Chinese projects, this expansion aligns with Cedrus’ expectation for increased investment projects and collaborations with leading domestic companies. The move has been well received by Cedrus’ clients, who have a positive outlook on the Chinese market and seek a trusted partner with a local team and access to the latest information, Jarkas said.
In early 2023, Cedrus announced plans to invest 1 billion yuan ($136.7 million) in life sciences and innovative technologies in the Chinese mainland, focusing on areas such as drug development, in vitro fertilization, nanotechnology devices, oncology, and AI-enabled technologies. In addition, in 2023 Cedrus established two private equity funds in excess of 1 billion yuan each to invest in the Chinese mainland, focusing on life sciences, innovative technologies, and agriculture.
Jarkas noted that Cedrus’ favorable sentiment toward China as an investment destination stems from its belief in the combination of effective government policies and the hardworking nature and ingenuity of the Chinese people, ensuring the country’s socio-economic objectives are achieved.
Cedrus’ Trusted Partner For Innovation In China
Cedrus’ strong presence and connectivity with China has earned the firm a reputation for being a trusted partner for innovative, technologically advanced foreign companies looking to enter the Chinese market. Cedrus invests and develops these companies in China through its collaborations with leading companies and local governments, he said. Jarkas said that Cedrus foresees the demand for advising on cross-border ties between China and the rest of the world will be persistently strong. The group is focused on bringing capital and cutting-edge technologies to China to further enhance research and development in line with China’s aim to become a world leader in science and technology by 2050.
As a Swiss firm, Cedrus is also a trusted investment partner to Chinese companies and investors looking to invest and raise capital in foreign markets. Notably, there is currently a high demand by Chinese companies to pursue Swiss listings as a result of a challenging geopolitical environment. Moreover, Cedrus also acts as a bridge for Chinese companies looking to expand their operations globally by advising them on how to operate abroad and find the right partners. Cedrus has been conducting business in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) for over 22 years, having established trusted relationships with institutional investors, sovereign wealth funds, and private investors.
China-MENA Trade On The Rise
In recent years, there has been increased trade activity between China and the MENA region. China’s significant investment in the region is evident through diplomatic initiatives like the China-Arab States Summit and China-GCC Summit, emphasizing its commitment to strategic partnerships and economic development beyond energy interests. China’s economic engagement includes expanding trade, and investment ventures through the BRI, and extending its digital presence in the Middle East.
Notably, MENA economies are actively seeking to diversify away from the oil and gas sector, viewing investment in China as an opportunity to access its vast consumer market and benefit from its economic transformation, Jarkas said. Cedrus aims to serve as a bridge, facilitating Chinese investment in the MENA region, while enabling MENA businesses to enter the Chinese market, he noted.