Begun in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative program is an umbrella framework for a collection of incredibly ambitious infrastructure modernization programs spanning from Asia into the Middle East, East Africa and Europe, designed and funded by China to create a new Silk Road Economic Belt and a 21st-century Maritime Silk Road.
With an estimated $4 to $8 trillion in cumulative investment over the life of the program funded by the Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Bank, the Chinese-funded Silk Road Fund, and the various Chinese banks involved (State Administration of Foreign Exchange, Export & Import Bank of China, China Investment Corporation, and China Development Bank), the potential for economic stimulus and capital investment is enormous.
BRI nations may request any or all of the following:
- Low interest (in some cases, zero interest) loans in any amount for infrastructure or modernization projects.
- Chinese State Corporation practical investment, including privatization assistance, subsidy, utility operation, and technical expertise.
- Construction assistance or contracts, including standard and high-speed rail, renewable and standard power facilities, ports and terminals, manufacturing centers, logistics infrastructure, public transport infrastructure, and public utilities.
Individual terms with the nation requesting funding will be negotiated on a case by case basis, taking into consideration the scope and involvement of the project, or amount of the loan.