An informed EU Parliament on the New Silk Road, plus greening the Silk Road, lending on the Silk Road, and building holiday resorts on the Silk Road.
A brief round of Silk Road recommendations this week.
New Silk Road: What the EU Policy Department thinks
This research was published earlier this year, but it’s 100+ pages long, so I’ve only got round to slogging through it, and I’m glad that I did. It might be one of the most comprehensive briefings on BRI I’ve come across actually, and definitely worth at least skimming through.
The abstract sounds pretty dull, and it takes a while to warm up, but it gets quite meaty. It’s especially good on what’s actually happening in Europe regarding Chinese projects.
Green Silk Road: China’s multilateral banks
A great piece from an awesome blog with a very cool name. This is a good exploration of the nature of China’s policy banks vs. the AIIB, but also of BRI in general.
The larger picture that emerges is one of competing visions in China’s overseas finance space, to say nothing of other important BRI-associated organizations, such as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), or the Sino-Russia and wider central Asia cooperation via the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Perhaps this divide between China’s overseas finance players is indicative of an emerging trend that the BRI concept has become inflated, and increasingly means many different things to different organizations, with various implementing bodies, themes, and programs.
Secret Silk Road: Cambodian casinos
This is what people thinking about the Belt and Road need – good investigative journalism.
On a recent visit by Reuters, access to the port, which the Sawac report said would be able to handle up to four 20,000-tonne container ships, was blocked by a Cambodian military officer. Viewed from a speedboat, parts of the port – which UDG had told local media would begin operating in 2015 – appeared unfinished.
Pou Nor, a local boatman, said he hadn’t seen ships dock or workers at the site in three years. Sometimes, soldiers would allow villagers to fish from the dock, he said.
Expensive Silk Road: Lenders on the front line
Maybe it’s precisely because I don’t have a financial background, but this stuff fascinates me. If you want to learn about how the Belt and Road might leverage private finance, then this is your jam. Don’t worry – it is actually an entertaining piece.
The attraction is clear: $94trn is needed globally by 2040 to keep the world’s infrastructure healthy, yet $15trn of that might go unfunded, based on current public spending trends, according to the Infrastructure Hub. One fact that has quickly become clear is that there is plenty of private capital targeting infrastructure, but too few projects that investors are willing to bid for. It falls to Heathcote to increase the flow of fundable projects that could help close the gap. “I sit in the gray area of being a public-sector and a private-sector body, to help the public sector understand how to more efficiently and effectively link with private sector capital to create the infrastructure they need,” he says.