chapter  4
14 Pages

The Belt and Road Initiative

Infrastructure and sustainable development
WithNeil Renwick

This chapter focuses on the extent to which the “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI) contributes to achieving the Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals agreed in 2015. The BRI is structured around a number of intersecting trade and investment corridors. The BRI’s aim is to act as a prime driver for investment in land and sea-based connectivity from China to regional and global markets. The BRI is being described as a new driver for sustainable development because it focuses on critical infrastructure investment and capacity-building that will increase connectivity and trade. The WBG and other Multilateral Development Banks could play a role in supporting the implementation of high environment, social and governance standards for BRI investments. The question of the BRI’s compliance or at least synchronisation with, environmental and social governance has become particularly salient with the publication of “China’s Arctic Policy” in January, 2018.