Exploring China’s One Belt, One Road plan

David R. Meyer, Senior Lecturer in Management at Olin, spent a week in Beijing and Xi’an, China this summer lecturing on FinTech, global finance, and China’s One Belt and One Road (OBOR)  initiative. The OBOR program is estimated to include $5 trillion in infrastructure spending across 60-plus countries in Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Africa, according to an article on Quartz written by journalist Zheping Huang. “The “One Belt” part of it refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt,” explains Huang, “while the ‘One Road’ refers to the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road. Jointly, they’re meant to be a revival of the ancient Silk Road trading routes.”

Meyer shared this summary of his talk on OBOR with the Olin blog:

China’s “One belt, one road” initiative has the potential to transform its relations to Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. The linkages are embodied in the Silk Road Economic Belt and New Maritime Silk Road. The initiative is aimed at internal Asian economic development, a process never significantly supported by the countries of Asia or by external actors, especially in Europe and North America.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is the financing vehicle for intergovernmental cooperation, thus serving as enabler of the development process. This seed money supplements even larger sums from Asian governments and private sector actors who will supply most of the capital. Key infrastructure components include railroads, telecommunications, and ports, all to be integrated by sea and by land.

Successful implementation of this initiative will accelerate Asian development and lead to greater internal Eurasian economic integration. Failure of the United States to participate in the AIIB, even as most important world economies are members of the bank, relegates the U.S. to a weak participant in this major global-economic transformation.

David Meyer’s lecture circuit in China this summer:

  • Lecture on “China’s “One belt, one road” initiative,” Capital Normal University, Beijing, China, July 31, 2017
  • Talk on “China as a leader in global FinTech,” FinTech’s Impact on the Real Estate Market in Chinese Financial Centers, American Chamber of Commerce in China, Beijing, China, August 1, 2017
  • Talk on “Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Beijing,” Jones Lang LaSalle, Beijing, China, August 1, 2017
  • Lecture on “China’s financial centers under global uncertainty,” Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China, August 3, 2017
  • Dinner with Washington University in St. Louis alumni, Beijing, China, August 3, 2017
  • Talk on “China’s ‘One belt, one road’ initiative: Impact on global financial networks,” Conference on “Silk Road and Urban Development in China and Beyond”, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi’an, China, August 5-6, 2017.
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