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China’s Belt and Road Initiative

Launched May 2018 3 lectures More in production
Prof. Ilan Alon
University of Agder, Norway
Summary

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a significant development strategy launched by the Chinese government with the intention of promoting economic co-operation and prosperity among the participating countries. While recovery of the advanced economies has been slow after the financial crisis, the pace of shifting of the economic centre... read moreof gravity towards Asia has gathered pace. Through upgrading infrastructure and promoting trade and industrial cooperation, the Belt and Road routes that pass through different Asian sub-regions, is set to bring out the huge potential of these countries for growth and development, and accelerate the global economic shift. The Belt and Road Initiative is seen as China’s response to the reshaping of world economic order.

The vision of the BRI is clear, but most countries along the proposed routes and economic corridors still face big challenges to their development. For example, connecting the various Asian sub-regions with other parts of Asia, Europe and Africa require immense investment in infrastructure. In Asia alone, infrastructure cost could reach US$750 billion annually during the period 2010-2020, according to the Asian Development Bank. To support financing the development needs, the Silk Road Fund and the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank have been set up. Besides, Chinese enterprises have become increasingly active in investing in the Belt and Road countries in recent years. Apart from official development assistance projects, Chinese enterprises have involved in an extensive range of infrastructure, economic zones and industrial investment projects.

This lecture series brings together a wide range of perspectives and analyses of the BRI, ranging from its immediate economic impact in the region and beyond, to geo-strategic and political implications.