There are many controversies as to when precisely commercial routes have appeared, and later, the so-called silk routes.
Many paths and expeditions were carried out, but the critical factor was that they allowed for greater mutual knowledge of civilizations, products, inventions, cultures and many other factors that helped in the creation of our civilization.
The most significant effects felt in the European, Asian and African continents. Although, after all, knowledge and relationship acquired, these spread throughout the world.
In 2013 in Kazakhstan, President Xi proposed to the world, the recreation of the old commercial, cultural and scientific routes. The material goals are different, but the spirit of the journey holds. Create greater relationships among countries, win-win exchanges and work together to combat poverty and social inequalities, which are two of the most significant problems today.
Since then, the project has now started with more than 80 countries representing a world population of 4.4 billion people and a third of global production. These figures alone would be enough to see the success of the project. However, Center China-Brazil: research wanted more. We wanted to have data from this important project in a consolidated format so that investors, government managers, academics, and other stakeholders could have a “numerical proxy” for what is happening in some important BRI countries and subjects.
In short, our methodology was to use algorithms with “crawlers,” to identify our determinations about the variables, which we considered keys for our analysis. This survey was conducted on the Internet in the English language in January 2019.
In the first place, we use as central themes those proposed by President Xi in 2013:
- Policy cooperation.
- Infrastructure connectivity.
- Unimpeded trade.
- Financial integration.
- People relationship.
In each of them, we have established specific algorithms to extract studies, data, speeches and other relevant information about each of them.
We will explain this through a few examples about each of them, where we will observe the relationship of the algorithms with the “keywords” on the themes that make up the sectorial indicators.
For example: in Policy cooperation, we use algorithms that have captured information in each participating country on mutual respect, security cooperation, win-win cooperation, etc.
In Infrastructure connectivity, we used algorithms that captured information from each country of the “Belt and Road” in two blocks. The first called “construction” about economic corridors, smart cities, speed railways, etc. In the second called “utilities” about solar energy, gas pipeline, sewage treatment, etc.
In Unimpeded trade, we used algorithms that captured information from each country of the “Belt and Road” about trade assertions, cross-border e-commerce, trade security, etc.
In financial integration, we use algorithms that capture information from each country of the “Belt and Road” about financial support, Silk Road fund, credit rating, etc.
In People relationship, we used algorithms that captured information from each Belt and Road country about tourism development, cultural development, medical support, etc.
Due to the input and output of millions of information, our method of calculation through medians made the data consistent.
We now present some results from the surveys conducted in January 2019.
Results obtained from 67 countries. Those in January had an average of 45 million daily data, which met our search parameters.
For the accomplishment of this article, we selected some countries that presented a high density of information and activities concerning the researched subjects. Of these, we highlight China, Russia, Indian, Pakistan, Singapore, and Indonesia.
Regarding Policy Cooperation, China has significant relevance in the focus of “win-win type actions.” They represented 42.8% of this item in the subject. Russia and Indonesia followed, with 30.8% and 30.7% respectively.
Below, we see the impact of the total information on Policy Cooperation of the selected countries. The numbers in the chart indicate how much data has validated by the search algorithms assigned to that subject in each of these countries.
A selected example on this subject is “The legacy of working between China and Indonesia.” There is a significant movement by China to strengthen its relationship with ASEAN countries. Also, in this context, President Xi was the first foreign head of state to enter parliament in Indonesia. In his speech, he presented a model for “win-win” cooperation with Indonesia under the “Belt and Road” Initiative (BRI).
For more than five years, BRI has facilitated numerous projects, such as roads, ports and industrial parks. Last year, China and Indonesia signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the promotion of BRI through the Sea Route, marking a new stage in the synergy of the development strategies of both countries.
It is one of the most critical issues in the context of the Belt and Road project. Infrastructure is one of the most significant problems in developing countries. Besides, infrastructure development allows for maximization and economic mobility within cities.
Another critical factor in the development of infrastructure is its enormous capacity to generate employment due to its extensive ability to aggregate value over its productive capacity.
Concerning our methodology, we chose to divide the infrastructure sector into the segments of Construction and Utilities.
In the graph, we see the high incidence rate of the infrastructure in the context of the main issues of the “Belt and Road.” Here are aggregates of the two previously cited segments.
When analyzing the segment of infrastructure construction, we observed that the development of “smart cities” was considered an essential item in this segment in all selected countries. Singapore and India were the countries that in relative terms had the highest incidence in this subject. Their results were 41.7% and 40.9%, respectively, concerning the other items of this group. However, in absolute terms, China had the highest incidence on the subject, with 422 thousand information. It corroborates the importance of this fact in Chinese strategic planning.
According to ASEAN Business Times information, smart cities will be significant because Southeast Asia is expected to have a population increase of 90 million over the next decade. Two-thirds of Asia will be living in cities by 2050. This factor will undoubtedly pose significant problems for existing infrastructure systems that have not prepared for larger populations and environments with high technology.
The formation of the ASEAN Smart Cities Network (ASCN) confirms how ASEAN member countries have begun to develop specific action plans for cities in the future with the common goal of smart and sustainable urban development.
About Utilities, it observed that China, Russia, and India led a substantial incidence of information on solar energy and wind energy. However, the significant prevalence of nuclear power should emphasize as an alternative way of generating electricity from other, more traditional, highly polluting sources.
They are still not giving due importance, issues relating to water treatment and sewage. It is worth noting that concerning sewage treatment, Indonesia and Russia were the countries that have shown more information on the subject.
Free trade is a very current and controversial topic among countries. Our view is that multilateralism in economic actions prevails, but there is no doubt that states must make deep internal reforms so that their industrial and service facilities equated with other nations, to face competition from other countries.
In our model, we treat free trade as a matter of three stages: the negotiation between the parties, the internal conditions necessary for the production and delivery of services, and finally, the facilitation conditions between the parties for the relationship to favor.
In the table, we can observe trade agreement as the main component of the subject. Naturally, this expects because everything starts with the strategic and commercial part of specific negotiations.
One very relevant information, which appears in the data, is the increase and importance of e-commerce between neighboring countries. Russia has almost 30% incidence of this item on the subject of unimpeded trade. As we can see, the other countries treat it with great importance.
For example, in China, the Chinese New Year, sales through e-commerce have been carried out impressively regarding volume and variety of products and services marketed. It has both local sources in China itself and neighboring countries.
Shopping is varied, with traditional products such as decorations, emerging products such as clothing, electronics, smart home appliances, and health care products.
In the provision of services, the hiring of family dinners, fresh products purchased through particular platforms and foreign products. For example cherries from Chile and shrimps from Vietnam, there are begin to have greater participation in the dining table of the Chinese.
It is a crucial issue within the scope of Belt and Road development. As we have seen above, above all, infrastructures need relevant financial inputs for projects to move forward. The Silk Road Fund and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) were created to help finance the projects.
It is essential that projects are imperative, adequate logistics and funds raised at interest rates compatible with the spirit of helping the development of needy parents.
Financial integration is not only restricted in this aspect of raising funds because there is a need to discuss and improve other practices. For example, it would be important for some agency to perform the rating of the values that an institution was making available to avoid default and friction between the partners.
Another important issue would be the possibility of having the combination of other currencies in the transactions. In this case, it would not be necessary to have the operations in US$, and with that, the procedures would be less expensive, because the international influence of exchange rate swings would not be exposed. It has nothing to do with the countries’ transactions.
China is leading the incidence of information on the issue, mainly because the Chinese government proposed two of the most significant sources of funds for the venture.
For example, projects like The Digital Silk Road involve $ 200 billion from China. It is a comprehensive project, but it will have two key aspects. China will have Internet connections through new submarine cables linking the east and west, as well as the deployment of broadband in countries where this infrastructure is underdeveloped or nonexistent, boosting their economies. This project will undoubtedly give a considerable boost to the Chinese economy, as well as to countries such as India, Pakistan, and Nepal. Bank AIIB plays a crucial role in fostering a large number of projects. The bank itself emphasizes that cross-border infrastructures, including trade-promoting links, market integration and the distribution of green energy, are necessary in times of market instability and declining economic growth. One should highlight projects in markets such as India and China that have the potential to improve significantly the connectivity needed in Central and South Asia.
The people bond provides excellent support from the people for the implementation of this vital project. Thus, there will be actions of personal, cultural, academic exchanges, media cooperation, volunteer services, etc. All this is necessary to solidify support for the deepening of personal ties between countries
.When we analyze the items that compose this subject, we observe that the highest incidences of information concentrate on activities of tourist exchanges, activities of cultural dissemination among countries and the possibility of generating jobs.
Many actions of this nature will create better social conditions to face the old social problems in communities in undeveloped places.
We highlight as an example: tourism activities that have increased thanks to enhanced cooperation between China and the countries participating in the Belt and Road initiative. One of the measures was the relaxation of the visas of Chinese tourists to visit other countries of the route. Thirteen states, including Brunei and Azerbaijan, have adopted visa arrival or visa-free policies for Chinese tourists.
According to China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism, it expected that Chinese tourists would make 150 million trips to the countries involved in the BRI by the year 2020, including spending in the range of $ 200 billion. China hopes to attract at least 85 million travel from these countries, capturing $ 110 billion.
- We present information according to the Center China-Brazil: research and business system that generates data, trends and the effects of the development of the Belt and Road Initiative – BRI.
- The Belt and Road is a structuring project of the enormous magnitude that allows the consolidation of many good projects, which already existed around the world, but were loose by the countries. Many of them now have a goal and can benefit more nations and people.
- “Belt and Road” is a concept and not the geographic reproduction of the routes that were carried out in the past. So I believe that it would be essential, Brazil to participate in this important project. That is because the new government is committed to the necessary reforms, which abandoned during past administrations. Also, infrastructure development is a key component of a new Brazil. By participating in the project, access may make to resources and main technologies from other countries in various areas.
- A few days ago, the reactivation of the Sino-Brazilian High-Level Commission (Cosban) between China and Brazil. This bilateral commission chaired by the vice president of Brazil and the deputy prime minister of China. The body is composed of several subcommittees. They deal with strategic issues in the relationship between the two countries, but especially trade and investment, an area in which Brazil has great interest, to leverage infrastructure projects. It can already be a big step for Brazil to strengthen its relationship with “Belt and Road.”