For the past several years, a rise in discussions about the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has made it noteworthy. BRI is a popular topic not just in media and politics, but also in the fields of business, academics and culture. So what makes it so unique? And how is it relevant for us in the logistics industry?
The Unique Selling Point
- The imagination that sustains the BRI resides in the ancient Silk Route of the first millennium, which supported trade between the Roman Empire, Chinese Empire and Central Asian trade hubs. BRI is the modern revival of a classical idea.
- The vision includes infrastructure networks that comprise of kilometres of highways, rail tracks, energy pipelines and recently, fibre optics. The estimated overall project expense till 2027 is over $1 trillion, and so far $70 billion has already been invested.
- BRI bisects into two networks, namely: Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. These transcontinental networks cover 4.4 billion people that is 65% of the world population. Along with 129 countries and 29 international organizations, BRI is one of the most globalized networks.
- Apart from infrastructural aids, BRI has helped to boost service industries through tourism and cultural exchange.
Logistics Industry and BRI
- The development of infrastructure has improved logistics performance and opened opportunities to trade in new geographical regions, consecutively leading to the formation of bonded warehousing, economic zones and logistics parks.
- BRI has unlocked opportunities for SMEs and poor income nations along the belt to participate and contribute to a robust logistics network. Developing logistics performance of low-income economies boosts trade by 15% in middle-income economies.
- Many countries with high rankings according to World Bank’s Logistics Performance Network are established logistical hubs under BRI. At the same, with the growth of trade and logistics, BRI has paved way for upcoming hubs in low income regions.
- Finally, BRI’s expansion of rail networks has given the necessary boost to transcontinental rail freight.