Backlash risks Xi's Belt and Road costing US$800 billion: study
A NEW air of uncertainty hovers over President Xi Jinping's signature Belt and Road Initiative amid mounting concerns about doing business with Beijing, reports Bloomberg
A NEW air of uncertainty hovers over President Xi Jinping's signature Belt and Road Initiative amid mounting concerns about doing business with Beijing, reports Bloomberg.
Political opposition to projects in Sri Lanka and Malaysia, among other countries, has led to some projects being revised, curtailed or cancelled, making investments even more difficult to track.
The new report, by consultancy Silk Road Associates and law firm Baker McKenzie, suggests the backlash to China's political and trade policies could shave as much as US$800 billion off Belt and Road.
The report's most optimistic view, soon discounted, is based on a 'global cooperation model' that sees China spending more than $1.3 trillion globally between 2020 and 2030.
More pessimistic is the report's 'uni-polar' view that weighs the impact of a recession, growing nationalism and more aggressive competition, predicting investment might only reach around $560 billion.
The report's release came as Hong Kong kicked off a Belt and Road investment summit attended by Chinese officials, one of whom urged the city's residents to stop protesting and seize the opportunities offered through China's regional infrastructure spending plans.
The Asian financial hub has seen months of unrest that have taken a toll on its economy, including tourism and retail.
But with more than 130 countries reported to have signed up, estimates on Belt and Road investments vary wildly -from hundreds of billions of dollars to as much as $8 trillion.
The World Bank has suggested China's current spending totals around $575 billion, but predicting future investments by President's Xi's opaque government over a decade is difficult.
The Asian Development Bank has previously estimated developing countries in Asia need around $26 trillion worth of infrastructure investments between 2016 and 2030.