Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2020, Vol. 75 ›› Issue (6): 1185-1198.doi: 10.11821/dlxb202006007

• Case Studies in the Belt and Road Region • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The multi-scale coupling construction mechanism of China's overseas intergovernmental cooperation parks: A case study of China-Belarus Industrial Park

LIU Zhigao1,2, WANG Tao1,2   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2019-10-08 Revised:2020-05-15 Online:2020-06-25 Published:2020-08-25
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41530751);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41901154);International Cooperation Bureau of Chinese Academy of Sciences(131A11KYSB20170014);Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences(XDA19040403);National Social Science Foundation of China(17VDL008)

Abstract:

Since the launch of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in 2013, China's overseas industrial parks have become an important platform for Chinese enterprises to "go global in groups", and also for promoting economic and trade cooperation between China and other countries involved in the BRI. The high-profile intergovernmental industrial parks are at the highest cooperation level, large in investment scale, and rapid in construction progress. Moreover, they are expected by Chinese government to play a demonstration role for the joint construction of the BRI. Against the backdrop, intergovernmental industrial parks have attracted increasing attention from policymakers and academics at home and abroad. However, existing research on overseas parks tends to be policy-oriented, and did not make distinction between the intergovernmental industrial parks from the overseas parks established by private enterprises. Few studies have been conducted so far on construction mechanism of overseas industrial parks from a perspective of multi-scale coupling. This article tries to fill this gap to examine the multi-scale coupling mechanisms of intergovernmental cooperative parks in the framework of the BRI, taking the China-Belarus Industrial Park as an example. This industrial park was launched in 2010 jointly by the presidents of the two countries as a flagship project of the BRI. Now it becomes a new growth pole of the Minsk city. The research shows that the construction of the high-profile overseas industrial parks is a dynamic process, through which the two governments, park developers and park enterprises coordinate, mediate, and arbitrage strategic interests in the global economy, and also pursue common goals. This process involves multi-actors (government, corporations) from various scales (global, intergovernmental, industrial park, corporations). Specifically, the governments of the two countries launched the projects for their respective strategic interests. The intergovernmental cooperation frameworks and mechanisms provide an institutional framework for coordinating the strategic interests of both sides, and also mobilizing the political and economic resources from the two countries and beyond to promote the high-end project. But the top-level cooperation mechanisms cannot automatically guarantee the project's success. The keys are reasonable equity structure of the park development company and its strengths of networking with the global partners. At the same time, the economic performance of the enterprises inside the industrial parks is the fundamental to parks' sustainable development. Therefore, only when the strategic interests of the two countries are properly handled and the economic benefits of the development company and the companies related with the project, the industrial park can survive and develop smoothly. Hopefully, this research can provide a scientific basis for promoting the high-quality development of China's overseas parks.

Key words: overseas industrial parks, intergovernmental cooperation, multi-scale coupling, China-Belarus Industrial Park, Belt and Road Initiative