Silk Road and Maritime Silk Road, Xinhua
Last month, New Zealand signed a cooperation agreement on the Belt and Road Initiative with China. As a result, China Railway will be provided information, by New Zealand, on possible investments including hotels and roads, and government procurement processes. Source: Reuters
First introduced in September 2013, the One Belt, One Road initiative covers many projects but has two main programmes; the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
The aim of OBOR is to integrate 65 countries from East Asia to Western Europe to improve the living standards of 4.4 billion people. To date, investment by Chinese enterprises under OBOR is over US$14 billion with an estimated 60,000 jobs created.
Many countries along the Silk Road and Maritime Silk Road require new or upgraded ports, road, airports, rail / high-speed networks, power, hospitals, and other infrastructure. A point to note is there’s no official list of countries.
But how much is going to be required? In an article in the South China Morning Post, the initiative is expected to require funding of US$8 trillion up to 2020. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority has signed an agreement for Hong Kong to develop as a fundraising centre.
According to an article in The Economist from July last year, in the first five months of 2016, more than half of China’s contracts overseas were signed with nations along the Silk Road.
The Nation has an interesting article here talking about the China Pakistan Economic Corridor and the part OBOR plays.
This article on Nikkei takes a look at the One Belt One Road meeting held in May 2017 in Beijing, the graphic summarising key OBOR initiatives gives some scale to the whole initiative. There are 4.5 billion people covering nearly 50 million square kilometres within the OBOR initiative.