Belt and Road Initiative Reviving South-South Cooperation


Since the 2008 global financial crisis, the landscape of cooperation between the countries has greatly changed mainly due to the ongoing power shift from the North to the South. In this context, China’s rising economy is taking the lead in driving forward the infrastructure development and helping the countries develop their economies despite lingering challenges that call for collective actions and mutual support among the countries, especially the developing countries. For this purpose, China unveiled its plans under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in 2013.  China’s Belt and Road Initiative has evolved from being purely about infrastructure build projects to about supply chain development. Many of the 2,500 projects that China has assisted with either financing, or building, or both are now coming to fruition. Under BRI, China is investing billions of dollars in several countries including Pakistan, Kenya, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar in infrastructure development, and energy sectors. It is also enhancing trade activities with the BRI countries that will help China productively use its surplus currency reserves and significantly facilitate the other participating countries to develop their economies.

Based on the principle of achieving shared benefits through consultation and collaboration, China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has presented a good opportunity for reinvigorating the cooperation especially the South-South cooperation and drawing concerted efforts from the international community to reduce the global deficits in peace, development, and governance. In the long run, the BRI is expected to facilitate a new round of economic globalization and help shape a more balanced and efficient system of global economic governance, which will serve as the basis for jointly building a “community of shared future for mankind” proposed by the Chinese government. According to the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Asia faces an infrastructure funding gap of an estimated USD 26 trillion through 2030. Therefore, many countries across the world have accepted the Chinese bid to develop their economies.

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