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UNDP, China Development Bank Issue Report on Belt and Road Economic Development

Dec. 12, 2017 (EIRNS)—A 230-page report on "Economic Development Along the Belt and Road 2017" was released yesterday at the China Development Bank (CDB) headquarters in Beijing, as "an overview of the economic situations along the Belt and Road and the initiative’s growth prospects, opportunities and challenges." Research for the report was a joint project of the CDB, the UN Development Program (UNDP), and Peking University’s School of Economics, growing out of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between China and the UNDP in September 2016 to work together on the Belt and Road Initiative.

EIR has not reviewed the report yet, but it sets as its task to investigate

"the economic structures of the countries and regions along the Belt and Road and the potential for their cooperation in areas such as production capacity, financing, and human capital development ... inspired by a vision of creating prosperous regions where physical, economic and financial integrations go beyond borders and facilitate the movement of people, goods, services, capital, knowledge and ideas,"

the Foreword to the report explains.

From the Foreword, it is notable that although the term "sustainable development" shapes the report, it is not used to signify the no-growth, anti-human economic policy for which it stands in the West, but the concept of full poverty reduction, industrialization and development of productivity which has shaped the Chinese economic miracle.

The press release announcing the report puts it this way:

"China’s experience in economic development provides a useful avenue to explore the possibilities of industrial diversification in economies along the Belt and Road Initiative....

"The assumption the report explores is that the aggregate economy of the countries and regions along the Belt and Road can promote global economic growth. Therefore, the initiative can give the opportunity for participating countries to get higher gains from trade and investment, entering foreign markets, diversify their exports, and most importantly to get skills, knowledge and technology all considered as key factors for productivity enhancement and growth....

"The report discusses the social outlook of the BRI through studies on socio-economic development, population, education, social protection and labour in countries along the Belt and Road, and concludes that combining the BRI to the provision of global public goods can produce cross-regional benefits and improve the well-being of future generations, including those not directly involved in the initiative."