The Belt and Road Initiative: China’s 21st century tool for economic growth

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Samuel Botero Castrillón


China, Investment, Infrastructure, Development, International cooperation, Financial loans, Foreign policy, Trade, Transportation, Credits, Debts


The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)is an international cooperation project proposed and led by China, where it seeks to promote its social, commercial and economic development with stakeholders through the implementation of a strong and effective foreign policy and the creation of bilateral agreements between China and other countries. “Through policy coordination, the IFR seeks to expand shared interests and reach multi-level cooperation agreements” (Dunford & Liu, 2019), allowing the flow of investments
and financial loans to initiate the construction of large infrastructure projects, establishing a more interconnected world with China
at the center. All these infrastructure and development plans are accompanied by a strong Chinese foreign policy with the objective of obtaining the greatest possible expansion and scope to enable its economic development, increase its global influence and facilitate its trade flows, and which have already been underway for several years. During the 1970s, China was working on a two-stage economic modernization process. The first stage is known as “Welcoming”, which sought to promote innovation and entrepreneurship within China. However, it is particularly interesting to analyze the second stage known as the “Exit” strategy. This policy, born in 1999 due to the Asian financial crisis, sought to promote foreign direct investment in the countries of the region to support international trade and business. During this period, China began to consider moving production abroad to seek benefits in terms of costs, opening new markets and acquiring technology and foreign currency, which would be enhanced after China’s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001 and the effective launch of the internationalization process for Chinese companies in 2008 with the change in investment policies.


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