by Rajiv Biswas, Asia Pacific Chief Economist for IHS Markit
The decision by the CPC at the 19th National Congress to incorporate the Belt & Road Initiative into its constitution helps to further reinforce the long-term commitment of China to its economic development initiatives with the 68 partner countries that are currently part of the Belt & Road Initiative.
This is a positive policy development that will help to further reassure the Belt & Road partner countries of China’s long-term political and economic commitment to its large-scale infrastructure financing plans, which already exceed USD 1 trillion over the next decade.
In addition to large-scale financing from Chinese commercial banks and policy banks such as CDB, China Export-Import Bank, Bank of China and ICBC, additional infrastructure financing flows are expected for Belt & Road projects from the new multilateral development banks, the AIIB and New Development Bank, as well as from commercial banks and development banks in the Belt & Road partner countries.
By enshrining China’s political commitment to the Belt & Road Initiative in the constitution, it will also help to strengthen the willingness of other stakeholders such as private sector firms and financial institutions in other countries to taking long-term investment stakes in Belt & Road projects.
China’s long term commitment to the Belt & Road Initiative is providing a major boost to infrastructure development for low income developing countries in Asia and Africa, as well as boosting infrastructure financing for other partner countries, including in Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
The Belt & Road Initiative is helping to boost infrastructure connectivity through the development of railways, ports and highways, as well as financing other critical infrastructure such as electricity generation and transmission projects.