Funding of China’s ‘Belt and Road’ Projects Estimated at $1.2 Trillion
July 18, 2016 (EIRNS)—Funding for infrastructure projects along the routes defined by China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative could reach an estimated $1.2 trillion, according to the www.joc.com website today. Rajiv Biswas, IHS Chief Economist for the Asia-Pacific region, told joc.com that in terms of committed funds, "the scale looks vast."
Lenders include the new Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the Silk Road Fund, and many Chinese commercial banks and financial institutions. The AIIB’s initial capital commitment was for $100 billion, but joc.com estimates that its "financial firepower" will likely be much larger than that, given the multiplicity of projects contemplated under the One Belt, One Road initiative.
These include a network of overland road and rail routes, oil and natural gas pipelines, and other infrastructure projects, stretching from Xi’an in Central China, through Central Asia, and extending as far as Moscow, Rotterdam, and Venice. A network of planned port and other coastal infrastructure projects extending from South and Southeast Asia to East Africa and the northern Mediterranean, is also part of the ‘One Belt, One Road’ project, joc.com explains.
Clearly struck by the magnitude of the ‘One Belt, One Road’ perspective, The Financial Times today publishes maps from its own report, "The New Trade Routes: Silk Road Corridor," depicting the key infrastructure projects along the New Silk Road. The City of London financial daily notes that even before China announced its One Belt, One Road project, it had already begun to redraw the energy map of the region, building oil and gas pipelines. Of the two maps shown, the first indicates routes for trans-Asian railway corridors, existing and planned gas and oil pipelines, and power lines. The second map shows transport and energy projects either underway or planned for the Central Asian region.