IDS Bulletin 50.4

The Belt and Road Initiative and the SDGs: Towards Equitable, Sustainable Development

Published on 16 December 2019

Established in 2013 by President Xi Jinping, China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is the source of significant academic and policy debate, in terms of how it is defined and how far it can contribute to the achievement of the United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development (Global Goals) by 2030.

Shipping port in Bangkok, Thailand. China has been promoting economic and trade cooperation with Thailand in recent years to advance its One Belt, One Road initiative. Some applaud the initiative’s potential to progress global sustainability; others argue that it poses considerable social, economic, environmental, political and security risks.
© Thatree Thitivongvaroon / Getty Images

This IDS Bulletin seeks to explore these debates in more depth, looking at the opportunities and challenges that are associated with aligning the BRI and Global Goals frameworks at local, national and international levels to achieve universal global economic social and environmental goals. It highlights new evidence, analyses and insights from across a range of experts from China and BRI countries, and points both to the potential for the BRI to help achieve sustainable development outcomes and the political, economic, financial, environmental and social risks, implications and impacts for involved countries and communities.

Read the articles below

Introduction: The Belt and Road Initiative and the Sustainable Development Goals: Opportunities and Challenges
Jing Gu, Hannah Corbett and Melissa Leach

The Digital Silk Road and the Sustainable Development Goals
Gong Sen and Li Bingqin

Green Belt and Road Initiative Environmental and Social Standards: Will Chinese Companies Conform?
Jiang Xiheng

Aligning the Belt and Road Initiative with Myanmar’s Sustainable Development Plan: Opportunities and Challenges
Zhou Taidong

The Belt and Road Initiative and Africa’s Sustainable Development: A Case Study of Kenya
Jing Gu and Shen Qiu

Sino-Greek Economic Cooperation: COSCO’s Investment in the Port of Piraeus
Liu Qianqian and Polyxeni Davarinou

The China–Pakistan Economic Corridor: A Case Study
Mustafa Hyder Sayed

Will the Belt and Road Initiative Boost Least Developed Countries Towards Sustainable Development?
Namsuk Kim


Notes on Contributors


Gong Sen

Executive Vice President, Centre for International Knowledge on Development

Jing Gu

Research Fellow, Centre Director

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