The Belt-Road Initiative and Asia’s Economy
Back in 25 C.E., ships from China have been trading with the rest of the world on a maritime path of riches and discovery. It was a time when an ancient China traded silk, ceramics, and other luxuries to the rest of the world. Spearheaded by China, the “One Belt One Road” (or some refer it as the Belt-Road Initiative) initiative has revived the ancient routes into The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st century Maritime Silk Road, and the Initiative has provided better links to support economic growth in the region.
The Belt and The Road
Reflecting at the land and sea routes of the old Silk Road linkages, the OBOR has land and sea dimensions that converge at certain points. Aimed to correct infrastructure deficiencies and improve connections between greater Asia and Europe, The Eurasian land connection, known as the “New Silk Road Economic Belt” or simply the “Belt,” is made up of railways, highways, oil and gas pipelines, and major energy projects.
The sea route, known as the “Maritime Silk Road” or simply the “Road,” made up of ports and coastal development, begins from China’s eastern ports and goes on to Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Africa and then on to West Asia and the Mediterranean, embracing Greece and Venice and ending at Rotterdam.
The Mechanism Behind
The expansion of trade and economic cooperation, however, is the prime focus of One Belt One Road. One Belt One Road has already demonstrated successes in Asia, Africa and Europe. Where the traditional Silk Road facilitated the exchange of goods and technology, the New Silk Road will link policies, infrastructure, trade, finance and people.
Focussing on the above routes, the Belt and Road initiative will utilise international transport routes as well as major cities and key ports to further strengthen collaboration and build six international economic co-operation corridors. These have been identified as the New Eurasia Land Bridge, China-Mongolia-Russia, China-Central Asia-West Asia, China-Indochina Peninsula, China-Pakistan, and Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar.
The idea behind is to coordinate and corporate with the countries along the route. As the Belt and Road Initiative traces its origins to Asia, China gives top priority to connectivity with its Asian neighbours. The Initiative framework sets out how China will promote intra-Asia connectivity through strategic integration, mechanism construction and facilities connectivity.
The OBOR initiative has boosted greater trade among the economies under the hyperconnectivity by the OBOR infrastructure. China’s grand OBOR plan could power the growth of Asia, and the world, in the next two to three decades. Institutions like the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, of which China, India and even European nations are members will partly finance the growth of such infrastructure. Also, South Asia is benefiting immensely through deeper trade connectivities with the global markets through the mega development framework.
On final note, the Belt-Road Initiative is not only a set of routes that connect countries as in ancient time, but a grand idea of coordinating and cooperating with the countries along the route, that will catalyse the economic growth and bilateral corporation.