Daily News Analysis

Build Back Better World

19th July, 2021 International Relations

Context:

  • G-7 leaders finally came around with the proposed Build Back Better World (B3W) to counter China’s Belt Road Initiative (BRI) projects.
  • The proposal, aims to address the infrastructure investment deficit in developing and lower income countries.

 

Build Back Better World (B3W)

  • This counter-strategy is necessary to bring down Chinese leverage.
  • The counter proposal of B3W is certainly a welcome step to contain the adverse implications of a Chinese mega plan.
  • However, B3W lacks coherent thoughts and proper planning at this stage.

 

Belt Road Initiative (BRI) projects:

  • The BRI projects broadly aim to facilitate cross-border transportation of goods, access to energy, creating demand for existing excess capacity in Chinese industries.
  • The overall focus is on developing transportation, logistics and communications, which would reduce trade and transaction cost for China’s trade, give more market access to Chinese markets and ensure stable supply of energy and other resources.
  • Many countries, including India, would see an adverse trade impact on their products’ competitiveness, market access, resource extraction etc. due to Chinese competition.
  • As BRI projects across geography — quantum and pattern of investment reflects the motive of China-centric international economic integration, production networks, hegemony in the Asia-Pacific region and, eventually, the global economy.
  • Central, South and West Asia is China’s second preferred region under the BRI as construction contracts worth $110 billion are under way, and 80 per cent contracts are concentrated in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Russia, Iran and Kazakhstan.
  • The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the Bangladesh-China, India, the Myanmar Economic Corridor (BCIM) and the Colombo Port City Project in Sri Lanka, amongst others, are important BRI projects.
  • China has signed construction contracts worth around $96 billion under BRI, largely focusing on Saudi Arabia, UAE and Egypt, with 70 per cent allocation of total regional contract agreements.
  • China is investing in Africa to lay a comprehensive transportation network.
  • The Greek port Pireaus, the China-Belarus Industrial Park, and the Green Ecological Silk Road Investment Fund are other major projects.
  • These initiatives would help trade facilitation for China and better delivery of goods and services.

 https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/chinas-influence-g-7-leaders-belt-road-initiative-7408524/