What is One Belt One Road?

       Updated   •   July 21, 2020

According to HM Ambassador Barbara Woodward and Stephen Phillips Chief Executive, China Britain Business Council; “One Belt One Road” (OBOR) is an initiative, which was launched by President Xi Jinping in 2013, to focus on improving and creating new trading routes, links and business opportunities with China, passing through over 60 countries along the way across Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

It’s name has been minimized and is now better known as the «Belt and Road Initiative» (BRI) or (B&R).

It has two main elements:

The Silk Road Economic Belt

Enhancing and developing land routes:

  • Building an “Eurasian land bridge” – a logistics chain from China’s east coast all the way to Rotterdam/Western Europe; and…

  • Developing a number of economic corridors connecting China with Mongolia and Russia, central Asia and South-East Asia.

Font: Sands, Gary. 11/02/2020. Asia Times. «Europe sees few benefits from China’s Belt and Road»
URL: https://asiatimes.com/2020/02/europe-sees-few-benefits-from-chinas-belt-and-road/

The 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road

This is a sea route rather than a road (a reference to the old maritime Silk Road) which runs west from China’s east coast to Europe through the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean. The aims of the OBOR initiative include:

  • Developing prosperity for underdeveloped parts of China, particularly in the west of the country.

  • Developing new opportunities for China to partner and co-operate with the various countries along the routes, many of which are developing countries.

  • Increased integration, connectivity and economic development along both routes.

The initiative has been distributed in to 6 economic corridors involving over 60 countries:

  • New Eurasian Land Bridge which runs from Western China to Western Russia through Kazakhstan, and includes the Silk Road Railway through China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland and Germany.

  • China – Mongolia – Russia Corridor Another corridor will run from Northern China through Mongolia to the Russian Far East. The Russian government-established Russian Direct Investment Fund and China’s China Investment Corporation, a Chinese government investment agency, partnered in 2012 to create the Russia-China Investment Fund, which concentrates on opportunities in bilateral integration.

  • China – Central Asia – West Asia Corridor, which will run from Western China to Turkey.

  • China – Indochina Peninsula Corridor, which will run from Southern China to Singapore.

  • China – Pakistan Corridor, which is also classified as «closely related to the Belt and Road Initiative», a US$62 billion collection of infrastructure projects throughout Pakistan which aims to rapidly modernize Pakistan’s transportation networks, energy infrastructure, and economy. On 13 November 2016, CPEC became partly operational when Chinese cargo was transported overland to Gwadar Port for onward maritime shipment to Africa and West Asia.

  • Bangladesh – China – India – Myanmar Corridor, also called (BCIM) is a proposed corridor connecting India and China through Myanmar and Bangladesh.

Risks and Challenges
This macro corridor is not only an economic initiative, but also a major geopolitical one. The diversity and different economic and political situations of countries along the routes inevitably mean there are inherent risks, ranging from the fundamental legal and financial challenges of accessing new foreign markets to political or social instability
and regional disputes. Companies should also remain live to the potential impact of territorial disputes along the BRI routes, including within the South China Sea where claims over territorial sovereignty are yet to be resolved. Political instability in a range of countries may also lead to inconsistency in legal and financial policies, which could undermine business activities.

For UK companies who want to participate in and benefit from the development of Belt & Road, the key principle is to plan sufficiently by identifying the appropriate country,  sector, project and Chinese partner. Careful planning and due diligence beforehand are strongly recommended. The China-Britain Business Council, together with UK Trade & Investment, supports UK companies in this process based on in-market experience and knowledge of suitable Chinese partners. Businesses are encouraged to consult the latest Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice and also UKTI Overseas Business Risk guides before taking investment decisions.

Please, visit CBBC website in order to extend above information.