FACTBOX: Belt and Road initiative

TASS-FACTBOX. Beijing is hosting the 3rd Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation from October 17 to 18. This year’s theme is High-...


TASS-FACTBOX. Beijing is hosting the 3rd Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation from October 17 to 18. This year’s theme is High-quality Belt and Road Cooperation: Together for Common Development and Prosperity.

The event will gather representatives from more than 130 countries. On October 17, Russian President Vladimir Putin will take part in the forum.

Belt and Road Initiative

The Belt and Road Initiative is a global strategic project for the development of transport corridors connecting by land or sea more than 60 countries in Asia, Africa and Europe, and the formation of a trade and economic space with the participation of these countries. The concept was put forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013.

Today, the Belt and Road initiative is the backbone of China’s foreign economic and foreign policy.

The initiative includes several projects. First of all, these are the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. These projects, proposed by Xi Jinping in 2013, were named after the ancient Silk Road, a caravan route that connected China and Europe through Central Asia in the 2nd century BC. - 15th century AD. The first project involves the formation of a trade and economic space along transport corridors connecting China with Southeast, South and Central Asia, Russia and Europe by land. The second one connects the coastal regions of China with Southeast and South Asia, the Middle East, East Africa and Europe, as well as the countries of the South Pacific.

In 2015, the Digital Silk Road project was added, stimulating the development of digital interconnectedness of the countries participating in the initiative: laying fiber optic cables and 5G cellular networks, creating data storage centers, using satellite navigation, and developing e-commerce.

In 2018, China initiated the Polar Silk Road project, which involves coordinating development strategies with Arctic states to facilitate the creation of a maritime economic corridor between China and Europe across the Arctic Ocean.

The estimated time frame for the implementation of these Belt and Road initiative projects is 30 years.

The projects are financed by Chinese banks and funds, including the China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China and the Silk Road Fund created in 2014, as well as a number of international financial institutions, including the Asian Development Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

China builds interaction with its partners on a bilateral basis. To date, under the initiative, the Chinese side has concluded agreements with 150 countries and 30 international organizations. The initiative’s projects are being implemented in countries of Eurasia, Africa, Latin America, and Western Europe, covering two-thirds of all countries and more than 60% of the world's population.

Russia is not directly involved in the initiative, but supports it. In 2015, the Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China signed an agreement to connect the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Eurasian Economic Union, an integration economic association whose members are Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia.

According to the Chinese government website, for the period from 2013 to 2022, trade turnover between China and the countries participating in the Belt and Road initiative amounted to $19.1 trillion, with average annual growth of 6.4%. The total volume of investments exceeded $380 billion, including China’s direct investments to participating countries to the tune of more than $240 billion. In the first half of 2023 alone, trade turnover between China and Belt and Road countries grew by 9.8% year on year. The share of this indicator in China's foreign trade turnover reached 34.3%. More than 3,000 projects with an investment volume of almost $1 trillion have already been implemented through the Belt and Road initiative.


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Local Glob: FACTBOX: Belt and Road initiative
FACTBOX: Belt and Road initiative
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