EFSD representative speaks at an international forum on the Belt and Road Initiative

01 February 2019

Moscow, 1 February 2019. Evgeny Vinokurov, Chief Economist at the EFSD, made a presentation on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) at the high-level international conference hosted by the Developing Markets Fund and the Swiss National Bank on 28-29 January 2019.

For Eurasia, the BRI is not merely an instrument to develop transit between China and the European Union. In the longer term, it is expected to enhance intraregional connectivity. The economic future of Central Asia and Russia’s Urals and Siberia depends on quality improvements in access to both EAEU and international markets.

The forum discussed applied proposals in the context of coordination of national and international development institutions. The key investors in long-term and capital-intensive projects along the Silk Road are institutions such as the World Bank, ADB, AIIB, NDB, EDB and EFSD, as well as national development institutions such as China’s Silk Road Fund. International financial institutions provide financing based on international standards that are not affected by amendments to national laws and this mitigates risks associated with large and long-term international projects.

Evgeny Vinokurov also emphasised the importance of extending grants for feasibility studies.

References: 

  • The Belt and Road Initiative in Northern Eurasia: Current State, Barriers to Development, Interests, and Policies (PPT attached).
  • Background Paper (attached).
  • Vinokurov, E., Tsukarev, T. (2018) The Belt and Road Initiative and the Transit Countries: an Economic Assessment of Land Transport Corridors. Area Development and Policy, Vol. 2, Issue 4. Published online 14 November, 2017. doi.org/10.1080/23792949.2017.1385406

In the light of the implications of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) for Greater Eurasia and, in particular, Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) countries, this paper assesses the prospects of seven actual and potential trans-Eurasian overland transport corridors. Based on the analysis of trade flows, railway tariffs, existing restrictions and individual routes’ potential efficiency, the most promising overland China–EU and China–EAEU transport corridors and their prospective goods nomenclatures are identified. China–EAEU–EU transit is interpreted as the ‘story of the container’. The principal interests of EAEU countries in developing BRI transport corridors are identified, as are the opportunities that involvement in China’s BRI affords for the promotion of a substantial transit business and, most importantly, better regional and interregional connectivity within both the EAEU and Greater Eurasia.

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