Home Russia & China China China’s Belt and Road Initiative will change 32m lives: World Bank

China’s Belt and Road Initiative will change 32m lives: World Bank

The Belt and Road will connect China to Europe via central and southern Asia through a string of ports, railways, roads, and bridges. The Washington-based lender’s report has revealed that the Belt and Road could lift 32 million people out of moderate poverty conditions if implemented fully.

World Bank

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World Bank has said that China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) can lift 32 million people out of poverty if fully implemented.

In a recent report, the World Bank has stated that China’s massive BRI drive has the capability to speed up economic development and reduce poverty for dozens of developing countries. The report, however, has called for deep policy reforms and more transparency.

The Belt and Road will connect China to Europe via central and southern Asia through a string of ports, railways, roads, and bridges. The Washington-based lender’s report has revealed that the Belt and Road could lift 32 million people out of moderate poverty conditions if implemented fully. Still, there are “significant risks,” it added.

Real income for Belt and Road corridor economies could be two to four times larger, the World Bank said, if they ease trade restrictions and institute reforms to reduce border delays.

“Achieving the ambitions of the Belt and Road Initiative will require equally ambitious reforms from participating countries,” World Bank Vice President for Equitable Growth Ceyla Pazarbasioglu said in a statement.

“Improvements in data reporting and transparency — especially around debt — open government procurement, and adherence to the highest social and environmental standards will help significantly,” she added.

Cost of New Infrastructure and Potential Economic Gains

The report found that for some countries, the costs of new infrastructure could outweigh potential economic gains and the benefits would be unevenly distributed among participating countries.

Read more: Government merging existing infrastructure to establish CPEC secretariat

The analysis has shown that the real income gains in the Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, and Thailand could be above eight percent, but Azerbaijan, Mongolia, and Tajikistan could experience negative welfare gains due to high infrastructure costs.

Real income for Belt and Road corridor economies could be two to four times larger, the World Bank said, if they ease trade restrictions and institute reforms to reduce border delays.

“Little is known about the processes for selecting firms” for Belt and Road projects, the report said. “Moving toward international good practices such as open and transparent public procurement would increase the likelihood that BRI projects are allocated to the firms best placed to implement them.”

The Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform of Pakistan has estimated that indirectly, CPEC could help create even 1.2 million jobs under its presently agreed project.

The report said there was also a need to increase transparency of debt terms and conditions for Belt and Road projects to allow governments to assess the risks to their ability to sustain debt.

CPEC to Create 700,000 Jobs in Pakistan

As per media reports, as many as 700,000 new job opportunities for local people are estimated to be created by 2030 under the CPEC. According to the Chinese Embassy documents, various CPEC projects have so far provided direct job opportunities to around 75,000 people across the country.

Read more: World Bank President appreciates reform process in Pakistan

The Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform of Pakistan has estimated that indirectly, CPEC could help create even 1.2 million jobs under its presently agreed project.

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