UNIDO: Belt and Road Initiative
At a glance, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s sweeping Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) may appear wholly positive. Infrastructure for business development and climate change mitigation, an opportunity for economic growth for impoverished nations and potential cultural diversification are all possible benefits of this massive trade initiative. Through the establishment of trade routes meant to connect China to major cities all over Europe, Asia, and much of coastal Africa, China grants itself what some consider an excess of power, particularly over developing nations. This, and the simple fact that infrastructure is expensive and such an initiative requires an exorbitant amount of resources bring the New Silk Road’s sustainability into question. With many countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) having already signed deals with China to extend the initiative onto their soil, delegates will discuss the potential of the Belt and Road Initiative, its advantages and drawbacks, and how best to proceed with this plan.