The Belt and Road Initiative’s Impact Depends on the Recipient Country by Tola Amusan

11 Dec 2023

In their most recent article published by The Diplomat, Tola Amusan, discusses the Belt and Road Intiative (BRI) and its impact on the respective recipient countries.

Amusan argues that, while the BRI stimulated economic growth, it fell short on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) measures. Namely, flagship projects in Pakistan and Sri Lanka, like the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), failed to deliver the envisioned economic benefits, leading to growing pessimism.

The success of the BRI is argued to depend on recipient countries fostering inclusive institutions, ensuring public participation, transparency, and accountability, as extractive institutions have led to suboptimal outcomes, resistance, and reputational damage for China.

To this, the author adds:

“Strengthening the connection between BRI projects and beneficial socioeconomic development will require China to not only fix the internal workings of the BRI but also advocate for strong institutional frameworks and complementary development policies. However, this goes against its philosophy of non-interference and “no strings attached” funding, which in practice sustain extractive institutions in recipient countries. Until China changes its approach, the BRI is set to become more politicized by local elites to elevate their political legitimacy rather than promoting inclusive socioeconomic development. “

You can find the full article here.

Image: Ruben –