Featured topic: One Belt, One Road

The Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road - better known as One Belt, One Road - is China’s ambitious effort to foster global trade and economic development, with ‘Chinese characteristics’.

Rather than a foreign aid program or merely a network of trading routes, at its heart One Belt, One Road (OBOR) is a debt-financed infrastructure development strategy. Stretching from Asia to Europe, it encompasses more than 60 countries, with official figures stating that there are 900 deals underway currently.

The opportunity for corporations

China is positioning itself as a key source of trade and investment for countries in seven key regional spheres: Africa, Central Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Russia, South Asia and South-east Asia (today, China already represents Africa’s single largest funder and builder of infrastructure). This presents considerable opportunity for corporations, with contracts being awarded for a range of projects, including transport, water and waste, energy, telecoms, social and health. Organisations that are especially well placed to benefit from this include corporates and professional services companies, from engineering to telecommunications, and from banking to legal services.

How the EIU can help

While the report provides an overview of the opportunities and risk factors, organisations that are seriously exploring the OBOR initiative will need additional details, comparative rankings or strategic advice. The EIU is able to supply highly nuanced and practical risk analysis, with greater depth of insight to meet their specific needs. In particular we are able to answer key questions, including:

  • How is OBOR impacting the countries it reaches?
  • Is it a threat or boon to multi-lateral trade?
  • Is OBOR a one-way proposition to help Chinese interests or a truly mutual win-win concept?
  • In what ways are deals being structured and implemented?
  • How best to interpret risks and opportunities of OBOR projects?

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