BRI: expectations and prospects

In a world where the future is determined through who shifts high-tech advancement into high gear through global cooperation and connectivity, the third BRI forum is going to take center stage in the month of October.
Propped up by the philosophy of balanced international order that promises respectful co-existence among diverse governance systems, protects sovereignty to all and offers the doctrine of live and let other live with harmony, the BRI forum appears to be harbinger of taking global theme to next stage. This forum, looking to be torchbearer of China’s visionary approach of Global Development Initiative (GDI), Global Security Initiative (GSI) and Global Civilisation Initiative (GCI), will open a window of brainstorming session among more than 150 countries and 90 international organisations.
With over 283 practical outcomes achieved in the preparatory process of the second Belt and Road Forum, and cooperation agreements worth more than $64 billion signed during its CEO conference, the stakes are higher than ever. The BRI has facilitated the implementation of more than 3,000 projects and attracted nearly $1 trillion in investments. Over the past decade, China has signed over 200 Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) cooperation agreements with 152 countries and 32 international organisations, reaching 83% of its diplomatic relations. BRI projects have created around 420,000 jobs, lifting nearly 40 million people out of poverty.
Gwadar Port in Pakistan, a BRI initiative, has seen significant progress, handling more than 600,000 tonnes of cargo in the past 14 months and attracting various enterprises to its Free Zone. The China-Europe Railway Express now serves 211 cities in 25 European countries, while the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor connects China’s regions to over 300 ports in 100 countries.
Participating BRI countries view the forum as an opportunity to deepen their cooperation with China, leveraging the infrastructure development and economic opportunities offered by the initiative. The BRI provides a platform for these nations to address their infrastructure deficits, boost trade, and improve connectivity. By attending the BRF, these countries reaffirm their commitment to the principles of mutual benefit and shared prosperity underpinning the BRI. The third BRF carries broader global significance. It serves as a lens through which the world assesses China’s role in shaping the global economic landscape. Critics have raised concerns about the BRI, seeing it as a tool for China to expand its geopolitical and economic influence. Amidst the mounting anticipation surrounding the 3rd BRI Forum, several key expectations have emerged. Foremost among them is the anticipation of the announcement of fresh, sustainable BRI projects.
China has frequently faced accusations of creating a “debt trap” within the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). However, in the upcoming third BRI Forum, there will be a dedicated focus on addressing concerns regarding debt sustainability. This underscores China’s unwavering dedication to upholding responsible financial practices. Likewise, the environmental sustainability of BRI projects frequently draws scrutiny. Consequently, the forum is poised to witness the introduction of new green BRI partnerships and ecological initiatives. These endeavors will stand as a testament to China’s steadfast commitment to sustainable development practices.
The event will offer a comprehensive update on the progress achieved across the six vital BRI economic corridors: the China-Pakistan corridor, Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar corridor, China-Mongolia-Russia corridor, China-Central Asia-West Asia corridor, New Eurasian Land Bridge, and China-Indochina Peninsula corridor. These corridors serve as the lifelines of the BRI, facilitating seamless connectivity and fostering economic cooperation. Beyond project announcements and corridor updates, the 3rd BRI Forum will also undertake the crucial task of assessing how the BRI’s cooperative efforts have tangibly improved the lives of countless individuals. It will delve into the substantial impact of the BRI in terms of job creation, poverty alleviation, trade and investment enhancement, and the critical development of infrastructure within partner countries.
In addition to these concrete achievements, the 3rd BRI Forum is assessed to serve as a powerful platform for China to reiterate its visionary commitment to shared benefits through multilateral cooperation. Against a backdrop of increasing global protectionism and unilateralism, this forum represents a unique opportunity to champion critical elements of cooperation, including policy alignment, unimpeded trade, financial integration, and the fostering of closer people-to-people exchanges across a multitude of nations.

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