The six land corridors that are the “Belt” part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) connect more than sixty countries, a number that keeps growing as more and more countries join.
However, even as the initiative progresses, there are still open questions as to what each participating country will gain from the initiative.
How can a country best benefit from the BRI? How should projects be prioritized and sequenced?
What opportunities emerge as a result of participating? A new World Bank research paper explores these recurring questions.
Our analysis is based on exploring the position of each country’s economic centers along the BRI network of corridors.
Ultimately, an initiative such as the BRI will change the way economic centers are connected. Productivity, competition, market opportunities, and transport and logistics costs could all be impacted.
Participating countries and cities within them will all certainly be affected by the implementation of the BRI.
However, the extent of the impact will depend on where along the corridors a country or city is located relative to other economic centers.
The difference matters, and is comparable to a storefront being located in a cul-de-sac or a thoroughfare.
Countries and cities on the “thoroughfare” may see more opportunities to add value and intermediate trade, whereas countries in the “cul-de-sac” serve as an end node only.