China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has enormous potential development benefits, through boosting economic development, trade connectivity and providing much needed infrastructure. In order to achieve this potential, BRI projects must be delivered to a high standard, in a sustainable and inclusive way. The scale of ambition of the BRI also means there should be a significant role for international investors and companies. How can we ensure that BRI development impacts are maximised, whilst reducing risk and increasing return for Chinese and international contractors and investors?
The dialogue will convene experts from the international development community, the private sector, investors and academia from China, the UK, and countries along the Belt and Road. Using specific country and project case studies from Central Asia, South Asia, South East Asia, and East Africa, participants will discuss the opportunities and risks for BRI to advance sustainable development whilst ensuring commercial returns. They will discuss how sustainable development and profitable investment can be mutually reinforcing, through prioritisation, coordination and high-quality implementation of BRI projects, and through adherence to relevant, appropriate and mutually agreeable environmental, social and governance standards. Participants will share their approaches to assessing and minimising risk in investment decisions and development interventions. By creating a space for these discussions, this meeting aims to enhance mutual understanding and produce practical recommendations on a common framework for promoting development outcomes, maximising return and minimising risk in BRI projects.