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Countdown to the Chinese Century: Global Guide to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)

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  • 171 Pages
  • July 2021
  • Region: China, Global
  • Digital Dragon Dynasty
  • ID: 5360339

An Economic Electronic Encyclopedia to the Belt and Road Initiative and future of the global economy complete with 300 supporting unique images. 

An introductory overview emphatically explains the Belt and Road from trade and infrastructure construction, to philosophy, outcomes, corridors, cooperation, finance, and selected country profiles. 

Each region is then extensively explored from Asia to Latin America in a country-by-country guide with project analyses such as Egypt and the New Cairo and Malaysia and the Forest City as the construction of smart cities occur globally from Chinese technology. 

The rise of a wider Asian Century and the new world economic order is outlined and why not just India and Indonesia will radically redefine global business activity but also Brazil and Mexico in Latin America and Nigeria and Egypt in Africa. 

A wider Asian Century, already beginning to make its presence felt through India, Russia, and Turkey, will add a further dramatic dimension as Vietnam, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Iran break into the world’s 30 biggest economies and Indonesia scales the top four. New technological hubs and centres of innovation will also emerge in places such as Almaty, Nairobi, Addis Ababa, and Bangkok. The economic future dynamism is Asia and increasingly Africa.

Individual projections for GDP growth between 2021 and 2025 are included as well as GDP rankings in 2030 and 2050 and specific BRI contributions to 2040 GDP which will be over $10 billion for 56 countries as global GDP is increased by $7.1 trillion annually.

We are living in the most radical economic revolution in history yet the world is not prepared for an associated historic geopolitical revolution of a return to a world led by China (and Asia) with the Digital Silk Road providing the most advanced technology of all time; innovated by Chinese capitalism around Chinese super-consumers. 

America can no longer suppress the scale of the Chinese challenge. The Belt and Road Initiative, Made in China policy (confirming Chinese control of domestic Artificial Intelligence), trade war, and Co-vid have emphatically revealed that the Chinese Century is ultimately unstoppable. 

China is now only a handful of years from reclaiming global economic leadership as the world’s biggest economy. The world will decisively change to reflect this historic paradigm shift and will need to understand the Belt and Road Initiative as China assumes outright global leadership.

China has already constructed over 1,000 GW of renewable power capacity, over one million 5G base stations, around 70% and 40,000 km of global high-speed rail, lifted over 800 million people out of poverty, and invested over $1 trillion in global infrastructure. China Heralds A New Global Economy. 

This seminal, explosive geopolitical research is this generation’s Kennan Long Telegram for an innovative modern-day Truman Doctrine serving as a frontier Fourth Industrial Revolution competitive template for America’s new pioneering reinvention plan.

Texas now has already become the principal domestic hub of solar power for example inversely replicating the renewable energy shift in China to the north in Xinjiang, Ningxia, Inner Mongolia, and Shanxi for example. 

The next presidential election will be defined by and decided on America's China strategy. By November 2024 China will be on the brink of usurping the US as the largest economy in the world either that year or by the following year.

The world (and in particular the US) is going to need to conclusively understand the Chinese Fourth Industrial Revolution, the Digital Silk Road, and the wider Belt and Road Initiative to comprehend the New World in order to compete. This is a globally historic phenomenon not witnessed since the British assumed global power from China and heralded the Western world order. 

Hitherto China (and India) had dominated ancient global economic history (a minimum 60% share by PPP) until at least 1820 (and 60% by GDP still at this point) with the Old Silk Road the global economic commercial trading framework and earliest form of globalisation. The Chinese are the ancient ancestors of capitalism pioneering the likes of paper, block-printing, the compass, gunpowder, and silk for example across China’s iconic over 5,000-year history. 

The birth of the industrial revolution catapulted Britain to power and the US harnessed further industrial revolutions to succeed Britain and then defeat the Soviet Union to retain global hegemony. 

The Fourth Industrial Revolution however will be equal to multiple industrial revolutions in its scale such as equivalent to the impact of steam engines, robotics, and the internet combined and will be led by the Chinese to assume a new Asian world order (in partnership with India) through the Belt and Road Initiative ushering in the Chinese Century and a wider Asian Century. 

By 2050 China will enjoy a lead by GDP of around $16 trillion that will be greater than any historical American advantage in the perceived American Century and the size of the entire American economy by 2012. India will be almost as close by this point to America by GDP as China is now and will be far clear by PPP (with significant pressure from around 2030). It will be India, not the US, that will be China's closest competitor in the second half of the 21st Century. By 2030 Asia will have half of the world’s top 30 economies by GDP. 

Mandarin also therefore will assume global linguistic primacy (out of commercial necessity at a minimum) and Chinese culture will need to be studied just as Western culture was to understand American capitalism and American super-consumers. 

The Chinese Economy will be the largest in the world by 2025 at the latest (and 55% of GDP digital at around $12 trillion from a global-leading over 9.5% annual expansion driving almost 70% of GDP growth), $30 trillion (GDP) overall by 2030, and $50 trillion-$60 trillion (GDP/PPP) by 2050. 

The Belt and Road will be the most transformational event in global history and this comprehensive guide is for any CEO, investment banker, entrepreneur, market analyst, venture capitalist, and businessperson that wants to help make history. 

The future has been designed in China and the Dragon's Digital Dynasty is ready to go global.

Table of Contents

  • Introductory Overview
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • Africa
  • Asia 



Executive Summary

Full implementation of the BRI will have occurred by 2049 with the majority by 2040. Up to 152 countries (70% of the global total) are an active participant in the BRI with Africa the highest regionally including 38 Sub-Saharan African countries. By April 2020 over 3,000 projects valued in excess of $4 trillion had been established which will over-double to 7,000 projects by 2050. There were $141.46 billion in new BRI contracts in 2020. $1.247 trillion had been invested in the BRI by May 2019 with up to $8 trillion overall representing the biggest infrastructural initiative in history.

Transport infrastructural costs in 88 economies are around $330 billion and by 2018 rail had received around $190 billion in investment (with Sub-Saharan Africa representing 33%) followed by roads at $66 billion and ports at $39 billion with over 1,000 transport projects agreed by May 2019. Transport infrastructure will lead to around a 5% increase in BRI FDI. Sub-Saharan Africa will receive a FDI increase of 7.5%, Central Asia 7.3%, East Asia 6.3%, South Asia 5.2%, Europe 3.7%, and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) 3.4%. Transport infrastructure real income gains will be 2% for the BRI and 1% globally. Transport infrastructure will reduce trade costs and increase trade in the BRI between 4.1% and 7.2%. Upper-middle and low-income BRI countries will benefit the most from improved infrastructure and GDP for BRI participants will be boosted 2.8% while for transport infrastructure specifically GDP will be increased 3.4% for BRI economies and 2.9% globally. Travel times will decrease by 12% within the BRI and 3% globally. Transport infrastructure can help bring 7.6 million people out of extreme poverty (earnings of less than $1.90 a day) and 32 million from moderate poverty (less than $3.20 a day). Between at least around 40 million to up to 60 million people overall are projected to be lifted out of poverty by the BRI.

9.9% gains are projected from increased manufactured scaling of production and labour movement. Overall BRI exports will increase by around 10% while global exports will increase 6.3%. Manufacturing will see the highest export growth for example 11.8% for electronics in South Asia, 8.3% in Pacific East Asia, as well as 6.4% in Sub-Saharan Africa. China will diversify its export markets along the BRI exporting more to Asia and Africa than Western Europe. 200 million tons of excess steel for example can be sent to facilitate industrialization and urbanization while smart manufacturing will be achieved through AI and robotics technological transfer as part of the Digital Silk Road.

The BRI accounted for 30.1% of China’s 2019 merchandise exports at $736 billion as well as 29% of total merchandise trade that will increase to around 40% by 2025.
China’s trade with BRI economies increased 1% to $1.45 trillion in 2020 and will over-double to $3 trillion by 2030 while there was over $7.8 trillion of trade overall between China and the BRI between 2013 and 2019 averaging around 6.1% in annual growth. China has 25 FTAs with the BRI, which may increase further subsequently to at least 33 including India, stimulating a reduction in trade barriers. Real GDP in emerging economies is projected to increase 6.7% annually until 2030 accounting for almost three-quarters (73%) of global exports. BRI trade will project to grow anywhere from 2.8% to 9.7% and between 1.7% and 6.2% globally (possibly as high as 12%) whilst low-income participating countries will see a 7.6% increase in FDI and lower-middle-income economies 6%. Trade costs will reduce by half for all countries involved by 2.2% and there will be a net global decline of 1.8%. This increased trade will enable real income gains that are projected to be between 1.2%-3.4% in the BRI and 0.7%-2.9% globally. 

Global GDP will be increased by $7.1 trillion (0.2%) annually by 2040 (a 4.2% direct increase) and by 8.3% from 2019 due to the BRI. Even by 2030 global GDP would have been directly increased by 0.7% and $1 trillion from the BRI. 56 countries will have their future annual 2040 GDP increased by over $10 billion. Russia (after China and then the US that will benefit $401 billion and 1.4%), Japan, Indonesia, Korea, and India (after the UK that will benefit $78 billion and 4%) will see the largest gains and Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, and Russia will proportionally. Central Asia and Russia’s 2040 GDP will be 18% greater, Central Europe (6%), Pacific East Asia (5%), and Western Europe (5%). Trade will grow at least 1.7% for the world as a whole. The BRI is expected to drive future world GDP growth. China has accounted effectively for more than 90% of the BRI’s funding that had already reached $926 billion by 2016. Around $150 billion annually will be accounted for by Chinese financial institutions with 2019 BRI investment already at $133.4 billion. 

China is already the global leader in many Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies such as renewable energy, blockchain, cloud computing, AI, autonomous vehicles, 5G, and the IoT for example that will be exported as part of the Digital Silk Road. Fibre-optic telecommunications infrastructure will facilitate for landlocked countries global network communications access for 10% of the cost of satellite data. Already by 2019 overall more than 30 had been laid globally, in Russia for example, as well as 10 underwater cables already by Huawei Marine including for Indonesia and the Philippines as well as the Transoceanic fibre optic cable. Huawei began in 2017 to build the 13,000 km Pakistan East African Cable Express (PEACE) connecting Pakistan (Gwadar) with Kenya and Djibouti in 2019 with future extension to Egypt and South Africa. Huawei overall had 84 smart city and 5G agreements in the BRI and 104 worldwide in 2019 including in Indonesia, Mexico, the Philippines, Russia, and Turkey. As much as half the world (around 120 countries) are already using BeiDou Navigation Satellite System services in some format including Pakistan, ASEAN, Russia, and the Arab League. 

Enhanced corridor management through big data, 5G, and the IoT could reduce shipping delays by 7% in the China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor and as much as 20% in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor while trade costs would reduce between 5% and 17% respectively for the two with all other corridors in this range. The global smart cities market was up to $104.9 billion in 2018 and will at least over-double to $237.6 billion by 2025 with the Asia Pacific representing 25% of total growth. The overall global smart cities market could be as high as $2 trillion by 2025. In total 34 Chinese companies by January 2020 were constructing 398 smart cities in 106 countries with around 15 projects in India, Pakistan, and South Africa. Around 10 projects were occurring in Brazil and at least five projects in various countries in Africa such as Ethiopia, Kenya, and Nigeria while for Asia this included Malaysia, Indonesia, and the UAE. Hikvision was involved in 136 projects, Dahua in 51, and ZTE in 36. Alibaba (Tmall) and JD.com will expand their e-commerce operations in the BRI. JD.com announced in 2017 plans to open twenty autonomous warehouses along the BRI. Alibaba through Alipay and Ant Financial already is providing fintech services in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea, and Thailand. Alipay by 2020 was operating at least 27 currencies in over 110 countries while WeChat Pay operated 17 currencies in 49 countries by 2019. China is ultimately building an interconnected global infrastructural payments network as the RMB is internationalised facilitated by the digital yuan. 

State Grid is building a UHVDC Global Energy Interconnection initiative ‘super-grid’ that will link regional diverse energy grids and sources through underwater cables to distribute renewable energy for half of global electrical consumption through Africa, Asia, and Europe by 2030 and the Western Hemisphere and Oceania by 2040. The Green Silk Road has issued nearly $25 billion in infrastructural sustainable bonds while a global-leading $71 billion exports of sustainable goods and services was achieved by 2017 including $8 billion worth of solar power equipment. More than half (56%) of Chinese BRI energy investments were in renewables in 2020. China had already constructed over a minimum 110 GW of renewable energy across the BRI by 2019 including at least 38 GW in Africa, 56 GW in Asia, and 17 GW in Latin America at over a minimum $100 billion investment with $27 billion in Africa, $62 billion in Asia, and $13 billion in Latin America. Between 2020 and 2021 a further $40 billion was invested including construction projects with renewables averaging over 50% of energy investments and 0% coal investments in 2021. Africa’s overall solar energy potential for example is equivalent to 6,600 GW which will be harnessed through the Chinese Fourth Industrial Revolution and the BRI enabling leapfrog industrialisation and global renewable energy capacity will already reach 4,800 GW by 2026 to be equivalent to fossil fuels (and nuclear) capacity. China will invest a minimum $644 billion to construct at least 644 GW of renewable power capacity in 38 Belt and Road countries by 2030. 

Asian and European trading is projected to expand to $2.5 trillion by 2025; almost double North America and Asia’s 2019 trade. 48 Chinese cities have been connected to 44 European cities in 15 countries and nearly 100 Eurasian ones overall. 13,000 rail trips were made between China and Europe by 2019 connecting in just 10 days. Chinese BRI projects in Europe totalled around $71.1 billion in 2019 with investment in active rail projects totalling $31.4 billion in Eastern Europe. China has further contributed $384 billion to the EU’s Investment Plan.

The Budapest-Belgrade High-Speed Railway will connect Central European energy and steel to Greece’s Piraeus port. Pupin Bridge in Belgrade was China’s first major European BRI infrastructural investment while there have also been upgrades of Serbian highway and establishment of industrial zones boosting Serbia’s 2040 GDP by $18 billion. 20 Sino-Belarussian projects of $5.5 billion include the SEZ Great Stone China-Belarus Industrial Park adjacent to Minsk airport. By May 2019 Belarussian BRI projects were worth $66.6 billion. Poland is China’s largest trading partner in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) facilitated by transcontinental rail between Chengdu and Lodz and Suzhou and Warsaw while a port has been built and industrial zones have been created also to boost Poland’s 2040 GDP by $48 billion. China will also invest $7 billion in Ukrainian infrastructure including transport boosting 2040 GDP by $28 billion. 

China has invested significantly in the transformation of the Greek port of Piraeus (with $620 million additionally planned). Piraeus will transport goods arriving by sea from China to Hungary via 350 km/h high-speed rail through Serbia on the China-Europe Land-Sea Express Route reducing transportation times to 11 days. Hungarian industry has also received investment and 2040 GDP will be boosted $13 billion by the BRI. The China Ocean Shipping Company invested in new piers, rail links, and trans-shipment infrastructure. By 2016 Piraeus’ annual container volume was in the top eight European ports and reached 5.6 million TEUs in 2019 with a $523 million GDP contribution by 2025. Piraeus has become an international maritime hub serving 39 other key Mediterranean ports while by 2030 over 40,000 local jobs will have been created. $3.5 billion has been invested in Greek wind energy also. In July 2019 Huawei agreed to invest $3.1 billion to construct Italy’s 5G networks until 2022 with ports to also be established in Trieste and Venice as Italy's 2040 GDP will be boosted $69 billion. 

Latin America projects reached $72.7 billion in 2019 while China plans $500 billion in trade and $250 billion in investment by 2025. $220 billion has already been invested over 15 years predominantly for infrastructure and energy. China has also invested nearly $1 billion in Panama’s port facilities and invested $3 billion in the Dominican Republic while there is also the Nicaraguan Canal, a Brazil to Peru railway, and the Agua Negra Pass tunnel through the Andes connecting Argentina and Chile. $20 billion has been invested in Brazilian maritime hubs, technology, and logistics. Didi invested $1 billion in 2018 in Brazilian ride-hailing company 99 redesigning its app to use AI contributing to the national generation of $640 million in related-IoT revenue by 2021. AI will increase Brazilian GDP by $432 billion and South American GDP by 1% annually by 2035. The $2.4 billion 11 GW Sao Simao Hydroelectric dam in Belo Monte will connect to Sao Paulo’s grid through a 2,084 km ‘electric super highway’ with $42 billion invested overall in Brazilian grid power infrastructure by 2020. A 300 MW solar module manufacturing plant is being developed as well as $3.7 billion invested in hydropower. Brazilian GDP will be eighth by 2030 (sixth by PPP) and sixth by 2050 (fifth by PPP) and 2040 GDP will be boosted by $73 billion through the BRI.

China is developing around 900 MW of Mexican wind and solar energy. Didi has services in Guadalajara and Monterrey and will expand into Toluca. By 2030 Mexico’s GDP will be twelfth (ninth by PPP) and by 2050 it will be eighth (seventh by PPP). Over 500 MW of Argentinian solar and wind energy is being developed by China while $4.7 billion has been invested in hydropower. Argentinian 2040 GDP will be boosted $43 billion by the BRI. 475 MW of Chilean wind and solar energy projects include the biggest Latin American solar PV plant, the 246 MW El Romero project, while Goldwind constructed almost 1 GW of wind energy across Panama, Ecuador, and Chile overall by 2016. Chilean 2040 GDP will be boosted $63 billion by the BRI. China had constructed 85 MW of solar power in Guatemala by 2015 while the $550 million 280 MW Ivirizu hydropower plant in Bolivia is being developed. China will also develop the $1.4 billion 456 MW Chaglla Hydropower project with Peruvian 2040 GDP boosted $22 billion by the BRI. China constructed the 1.5 GW Coca Codo Sinclair hydropower plant in Ecuador as well as the 180 MW Delsitanisagua project providing southern power for 500,000 people. Huawei and ZTE have supplied the majority of the equipment of Ecuador’s telecommunications infrastructure as well as the $15 million ECU911 AI public security system. Ecuadorean 2040 GDP will be boosted 12.1% by the BRI. 

$280 billion between 2011 and 2017 (of which 30% went towards transport) was invested by China in Africa. China’s trade with Africa reached $208 billion in 2019 with exports at $113.2 billion. $66.6 billion was invested in Sub-Saharan African railways by November 2019 with total Sub-Saharan African projects of $240 billion as well as $227 billion for MENA. 50 countries received $138 billion in loans between 2000 and 2015 with a further $60 billion committed to construct transport infrastructure and industrialisation for example as well as $5 billion for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). China will also train 200,000 African technicians. China has reinforced the Africa Union’s Agenda 2063 to increase Africa’s manufacturing sector to 15% in 2023 and more than 50% in 2063. China has a ‘Made in Africa Initiative’ whereby garments and light manufacturing have been shifted to Senegal, Rwanda, Somalia and Djibouti. $60 billion was also further committed in 2018 including a $5 billion African import fund. In July 2019 a $1 billion Belt and Road fund for Africa in infrastructure, advanced technology, and e-commerce was enacted. China is the biggest African infrastructural investment source for example providing $12 billion annually between 2011 and 2016 and has constructed 70% of African telecommunicational infrastructure.

By September 2018 the China Railway Construction Corporation constructed 10,605 km of railways and 4,800 km of motorways creating 50,000 local jobs. The BRI will reduce travel times by 2.5% and trade costs by 2.2%. Tanzania’s $11 billion Bagamoyo port will be East Africa’s biggest port and will also serve Sub-Saharan Africa reducing shipping time between Rwanda and Australia by 0.5%. 12 African ports overall are already included as part of the BRI. Real income gains are expected to be 2% for Sub-Saharan Africa (2.5% for Tanzania) and productivity and exports will increase 2% for MENA and 1.2% for Sub-Saharan Africa. BRI transport FDI could improve average annual GDP growth by 0.09% while for Sub-Saharan Africa participants this will be 0.23% GDP growth (BRI high) from 7.47% FDI increases (BRI high). The BRI will still cause a 0.13% increase in non-BRI Sub-Saharan countries’ GDP growth from improved regional transport. The BRI will enable 700,000 people in Kenya and Tanzania to transcend extreme poverty by 2030. 

Egypt as of May 2019 had 197 BRI projects of $115.6 billion in value. The $3 billion CBD of Egypt’s new capital will be constructed by 2022 with $20 billion wider city investment to be unveiled in 2050. It will be bigger than Madrid at 714 km2, with a 23 km2 park double NY’s central park, Africa’s tallest tower at 385 m, biggest church, 2,000 educational institutions, the largest opera house outside of Europe, a technology park for innovation, more than 1,000 mosques, 40,000 hotels, as well as house six million people. China invested $7 billion in Egypt in 2018 and $18.3 billion in hydropower and textiles in 2019 with Chinese FDI reaching $24.3 billion by 2018 including in rail. Egypt’s 7.25 km2 TEDA Suez Economic and Trade Cooperation Zone on the Red Sea already had 68 companies by 2019 and will have 180 overall and receive $2 billion in investment. There is a $1 billion transmission line project as well as over $2.7 billion invested in 3.3 GW of solar and wind projects including the 1.8 GW Benban solar park (fourth largest globally). A 66 km $1.24 billion 120 km/h Light Rail Transit (LRT) network from Cairo to 11 surrounding district stations will be constructed. By 2050 Egypt’s GDP will be in the world’s top 20 facilitated by a 180 million population. 

By 2014 Ethiopia had become China’s second highest loan recipient after Angola at $12.2 billion. Addis Ababa’s $400 million 34 km LRT system has 23 newly-constructed stations. The Ethiopian Industrial Parks Development Corporation has created a minimum 200,000 jobs. The Eastern Industrial Zone SEZ in Ethiopia had 27 companies operating there by 2019. The Hawassa Industrial Park (HIP) will be a leading light manufacturing centre for textiles, clothing, and design and attract world-class international brands including from China, India, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia generating 60,000 jobs and $1 billion in exports. HIP is a contemporary, state-of-the-art sustainable industrial park with hydro-electricity, wastewater treatment plants, and LED street lighting. The 254 MW Genale Dawa 3 hydropower plant has been developed as well as off-grid solar power facilities and a 500-kilovolt transmission line between Ethiopia and Kenya. The $4.5 billion 650 km electrified Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway will result in a 1.2% shipping time reduction to Australia. 

The $8.7 billion Kenya-Uganda railway beginning in Mombasa is Kenya’s largest infrastructure project since independence. Its $3.6 billion Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway will increase Kenya’s GDP by 1.5%. Huawei is also building an AI public security data cloud system as it constructs Nairobi’s smart ‘Safe City’ that also involves Hikvision and Dahua with national expansion by 2030. Huawei is also constructing the 5,000-acre Konza Technology City that will feature a cloud-based data centre, high-tech ICT infrastructure, and public and traffic safety smart AI security systems. The $135 million 50 MW Garissa Solar Power will provide energy for 625,000 homes while a $131 million 285 km 220 kV power line is being constructed for transmission to Isiolo. Huawei built M-pesa’s Kenyan infrastructure with almost 20 million national fintech mobile users by early 2018 at over 58% penetration (and supported by WeChat and Alipay by 2019) and operational in ten countries including Egypt, India, and Tanzania. Kenyan 2040 GDP will be boosted $15 billion by the BRI.

The $5.8 billion 3 GW Mambilla Hydroelectric Power Project in Nigeria opened in 2017. China will also develop Nigeria’s historic biofuel production facility. The $11 billion Lagos-Calabar Coastal Railway will be constructed as well as the Abuja-Kudana Railway. The Nigeria Lekki Free Trade Zone had 21 companies operating by 2019 while the Nigeria Ogun-Guangdong Free Trade Zone had 16. Huawei will facilitate Nigeria providing fibre optical connectivity to all 774 districts by 2025. Nigerian 2040 GDP will be boosted $30 billion by the BRI and by 2050 Nigerian GDP will be in the top 15 globally. The $8 billion Modderfontein New City in South Africa is being constructed and will be located 20 km from Johannesburg. 1.17 GW of solar and wind energy projects have been constructed. South Africa will be in the top 30 by PPP by 2030 and by 2050 by GDP. 

There will be a 193% increase in South Asia container traffic from 93% higher port capacity by 2030 while container traffic will be 163% higher in South-East Asia from 86% higher port capacity. Shipping times will reduce 3.2% globally on average for BRI countries, 4% for intra-BRI trade, and as much as 12% in specific corridors reducing aggregate trade costs 2.8% on average globally and 3.5% within the BRI and up to 10% in the China-Central Asia-West Asia Economic Corridor. Transport infrastructure overall will see total exports in Pacific East Asia increase by 3.8% (including over 12% in Thailand and Malaysia) and South Asia by 3.7% including over 8.5% in Pakistan and Bangladesh. Transport investments in Central Asia will result in a 1.4% real income regional gain while regional exports are also projected to increase 1.9% from transport infrastructure. Urban clusters and manufacturing returns are projected to increase income gains above 10% in the likes of Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan and 8% in Thailand. Exports will increase real income gains by around at least 7% in Thailand, Malaysia, and Bangladesh while over 3% in Cambodia, Turkey, Laos, and Iran for example. South Asia and Central Asia are expected to grow 0.14% and 0.12% more rapidly in GDP from FDI increases of 6.25% and 7.28% from the BRI. 

In the China-Central Asia-West Asia Economic Corridor, China has invested around $20 billion in Arabian infrastructure. Alibaba has invested $600 million into the Dubai Techno Park for robotics. The $3.9 billion world-leading 700 MW Concentrated Solar Power plant, Noor Energy 1, is also being constructed. The UAE had almost 50 BRI projects at $67.1 billion in value by May 2019 that will boost UAE’s 2040 GDP by $12 billion (10.8%). The 18.25 km Makkah Light Rail project and construction of the historic 453 km Haramain high-speed railway between Makkah and Madinah will occur in Saudi Arabia while there is also the Middle East’s historic thin-film solar industrial park. Saudi Arabia had 103 BRI projects at $142.8 billion in value by May 2019 boosting 2040 GDP by $15 billion. The $10 billion Khorgos dry port with an accompanying $2 billion Khorgos-Eastern Gate SEZ will export robotics to Europe and was developing $800 million electric batteries for 500,000 electric vehicles in 2018. The 100 MW Zhanatas wind project and the $1 billion 40 MW Gulshat Solar PV Power Plant will be linked into the UHVDC Central Asian transmission system. St. Petersburg will be connected to Lianyungang in 10 days rather than 45 by shipping via 220 miles of Kazakhstan’s expressways built at $5.6 billion. Kazakh 2040 GDP is expected to be increased by $20.2 billion (3.6%) from the BRI. Kazakhstan had 56 BRI projects as of May 2019 from around $30 billion in investment. The $3 billion Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway connects Yiwu with Tehran in two weeks. 15,000 km of high-speed rail routes in Turkey as well as in Georgia and Iran will be constructed including already between Tehran and Mashad with future extension to China. Iranian 2040 GDP will be boosted $43 billion by the BRI. Istanbul and Xi’an are now connected over 12 days via Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan over 8,693 km of railway. Turkey had BRI projects by May 2019 worth $113.7 billion which are expected to increase its 2040 GDP by $91.4 billion (5.5%). 

In the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) Economic Corridor, China will invest $13.6 billion in 63 projects in Bangladesh including $165 million in electricity for 12.5 million people and a 200 MW solar power facility in Gaibandha reducing extreme poverty numbers by 200,000 and boosting 2040 GDP by $24 billion. India will become the fourth largest economy by 2025 while by PPP rates it is already third. India’s projects include the $30 billion Amaravati Sustainable Capital City and the $30 billion Madhya Pradesh Rural Connectivity Project while the $25 billion Kunming-Calcutta High-Speed Rail route has also been proposed. Over $8 billion has been invested in 8.76 GW of wind and solar projects with China supplying 87% of India’s PV modules by 2016. China and India by 2050 will have developed the biggest global trading relationship. For 1820 of the past 2000 years (91%) China and India had a minimum 60% share of world GDP by PPP and the average economic activity location between 1-1500 found on their shared border where it will return by 2050. China and India will constitute as much as almost 60% of global middle-class consumption (over $26 billion) by 2030 and 43.4% of global numbers in total (2.2 billion people). India had 93 BRI projects at $84.2 billion in value as of May 2019 increasing 2040 GDP by $173 billion (1.1%).

In the China-Indochina Peninsula Economic Corridor, a BRI high-speed railway network from Kunming, Yunnan will have three routes; centrally via Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore, an eastern one to Vietnam and Cambodia, and a western one with Myanmar. China built a $6.1 billion 142 km high-speed railway in Indonesia from Jakarta to Bandung while a further $8.6 billion has been invested in Indonesian rail. $21 billion invested in Indonesian hydropower includes the 9 GW Kayan River project. By 2018 Indonesian BRI projects totalled $171.11 billion in value with a further $91.1 billion being explored. Indonesian GDP will increase by $267 billion (8.1%) by 2040 due to the BRI. Malaysian smart cities include the $100 billion Forest City and the $10.62 billion Melaka Gateway Port engineering $30.89 billion to Malaysian GDP by 2030. Over $20 billion in infrastructure projects includes the $10.7 billion 648 km East Coast Rail Link. $3 billion energy investment includes the 944 MW Murum hydroelectric dam. China is also funding the $34 billion Bandar Malaysia real estate project in Kuala Lumpur. A $1 billion historic AI park is being developed by SenseTime to develop Malaysian robotics and big data and Alibaba’s AI City Brain is being used in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia had BRI projects worth around $160 billion in value by May 2019 increasing 2040 GDP by $64.8 billion (5.9%). 

In the China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor, there is a FTA with the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). Moscow will be one of Alibaba’s DAMO academic high-tech global research centres. A $35 billion Moscow-Kazan high-speed railway line is being constructed for 2030 with high-speed rail also between Moscow and Beijing. $75 billion maritime investment includes the $50 billion Northern Sea Route opening in 2035. The $10 billion 2,000 km Meridian Highway in Russia will connect Kazakhstan and Belarus to be ready by 2024. China and Russia have jointly constructed the longest global terrestrial telecommunications cable link, the Trans-Europe Asia. China will invest around $1 billion in Russian AI, drones, and aerospace with Huawei’s Moscow OpenLab AI research centre opened in 2018. $110 billion has been invested in highways while there is also the $35 billion China St. Petersburg Rail Corridor. Russia had 113 BRI projects at $291.4 in value as of May 2019 dramatically increasing 2040 GDP by $377 billion (18%). 

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor had already increased Pakistan’s GDP by 2% by 2018 and will create up to three million jobs increasing 2030 GDP by 8%. The Gwadar port in Baluchistan will have a $2 billion 923-hectare SEZ and enable China to reduce shipping by months from Africa and the Persian Gulf via Gwadar through Pakistan. A $1 billion 300 MW solar power plant will power 250,000 homes for a two million population by 2050 with a GDP up to $300 billion and cargo numbers of 400 million tonnes by 2045. China’s overall corridor investment stands at $60 billion and is projected to eclipse $100 billion by 2030 including over 300 infrastructure projects for example a $15 billion high-speed railway between Karachi and Peshawar. The 2,950 km Pakistan-China Optical Fibre Cable will connect Punjab with Gwadar. By 2020 over half of Chinese energy investments in Pakistan were in renewables including at least $20 billion in 14.17 GW of renewable projects as well as 4 GW of 900 km HVDC transmission lines. Pakistan had 84 BRI projects at $74.4 billion in value as of May 2019 significantly improving 2040 GDP by $117 billion (11.4%). 

South and South-East Asia had received around $426 billion (around 40% of total BRI investment) by 2019. Over 50% of Africa’s current trade is with Asia and together will account for 80% of the global population by the end of the century at over five billion people each. Over half of Asian trade in 2019 was regional and ASEAN became China’s largest trading partner in 2020. By 2050 Asia’s share of global GDP will increase to over 50% reaching this by 2040 by PPP. By GDP in 2030 Asia will make up half of the top 30. China will be first, India third, and Indonesia ninth. By PPP Indonesia would be at least fifth and Russia sixth. By GDP in 2050 China will remain first, India third, and Indonesia will now be fourth. By PPP India will be second.

Companies Mentioned

  • ABP Group
  • ACWA Power
  • Agricultural Bank of China
  • Agricultural Development Bank of China
  • Alibaba (incl. Ant Financial)
  • Ascend Group
  • Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank
  • Aviation Industry Corporation of China
  • Baidu
  • Bank of China
  • Bank of Punjab
  • BeiDou
  • Beijing Shougang International Engineering Technology
  • Big Basket
  • BYD
  • B2W Digital
  • Cars45.com
  • CCCC-FHDI Engineering Co Ltd
  • China Capital Venture Investment Fund
  • China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation
  • China Construction Bank
  • China Development Bank
  • China Energy Engineering Corporation
  • China Energy Engineering Group Science and Technology Development Company
  • China Energy Investment Corporation
  • China Export and Credit Insurance Corporation
  • China General Nuclear
  • China Gezhouba
  • China Harbor Engineering Company
  • China Intercontinental Communication Center
  • China Internet Investment Fund
  • China Jiangxi
  • China Life Insurance
  • China Merchants Bank
  • China Merchants Bank
  • China Ocean Shipping Company
  • China Oilfield Services Limited (COSL)
  • China Overseas Port Holding Company
  • China Power International Holding
  • China Radio and Television
  • China Radio International
  • China Railway Construction Corporation
  • China Railway Engineering
  • China Railway Express
  • China Railway Group
  • China Road and Bridge Corporation
  • China State Construction Engineering Corporation
  • China Telecom Global
  • China Three Gorges Corporation
  • CITIC Group
  • Country Garden Residential Construction Company
  • CPC
  • Dalian Wanda
  • Daraz
  • DBS Bank
  • Dianrong
  • Didi
  • Dongfang Electric Corporation
  • Dubai Ports World
  • Egypt Information Technology and Service Company
  • Emtek
  • Envision Energy
  • Ethiopia Construction PLC
  • Export Import Bank of China
  • Flipkart
  • Gaana
  • Gazprom
  • GGV Capital
  • Go-Jek
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Goldwind
  • Globebuy
  • Gobi Partners
  • Grab
  • Hanergy Thin Film Power Group
  • Harbin Electric
  • HBK Contracting
  • Honda
  • Hotels.ng
  • Huaneng Shandong Ruyi Group
  • Huawei
  • Hubei Energy
  • HydroChina
  • Image Nation
  • Industrial and Commercial Bank of China
  • Infosys
  • Inmarsat
  • Itochu Corporation
  • IZP
  • JAC Motors
  • JA Solar
  • Jiangsu Province Overseas Cooperation and Investment Company
  • JinkoSolar
  • JD.com
  • Jumia
  • KakaoPay
  • Kobo360
  • Konga
  • Li & Fung
  • Longi Group
  • Lufax
  • Mercado Libre
  • Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group
  • M-pesa
  • Mynt
  • Nexar
  • Ningxia Silk Road ePath Company
  • Nunner Logistics
  • Nvidia
  • Okada
  • Ola
  • One 97
  • Ookbee
  • Opay
  • Optibus
  • PalmPay
  • Panasonic
  • Paytm
  • Pomelo
  • PowerChina
  • Retail Capital
  • Russia Today
  • Samskip Logistics Benelux
  • Sanook
  • SCO Development Bank
  • Sea
  • SenseTime
  • SEPCO III Electric Power Construction Corporation
  • Shanghai Electric
  • Silk Road E-Merchants Information Technologies
  • Silk Road Start-up
  • Sino-CEE Financial Holdings Ltd
  • SinoHydro
  • Sino-Singapore Connectivity Private Equity Fund Management Company
  • SK Hydro Group
  • Snapdeal
  • SoftBank
  • SQream Technologies
  • Standard Chartered Bank
  • State Grid Corporation of China
  • Statoil
  • Swiggy
  • Swvl
  • Talseun
  • Tata Consultancy Services
  • Tebian Electric Apparatus (TBEA) Xinjiang SunOasis
  • Telenor
  • Tencent
  • Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area
  • Tianjin Electric Power Construction Company
  • Ticket New
  • Tiki
  • TMA Logistics
  • Tokopedia
  • Trina Solar
  • Turkish State Railways 
  • Visa
  • Visualead
  • Volvo
  • Wakanow
  • Wanfang China
  • WEG Industrias SA
  • Wuhan Asia-Europe Logistics Co. Ltd
  • Zendai Group
  • Zhejiang Hengyi
  • ZTE
  • 99 Taxi