A flurry of recent diplomatic activity highlights the multilateral and multi-stakeholder footing of Eurasia's North-South trade and transport initiatives. While significant economic and political challenges remain, they retain the potential to transform Eurasia's economic landscape.
Browse our analysis section for news and articles on topics such as China's Belt and Road Initiative (OBOR), the Competing Visions of Japan, India, and other regional powers, and the stakes for U.S. policy.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo promised "a million dollars of assistance to increase trade and connectivity between Uzbekistan and Afghanistan," during a visit to Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Meanwhile, China's presence in Central Asia is growing, in part due to heavy investment in the region's infrastructure development through its Belt and Road Initiative, Nikkei reports.
Historically, Kazakhstan's economic potential has been constrained by geographic extremes and uneven development. To address these challenges, the government has emphasized investment in transportation networks and urban economic centers, achieving steady growth and reducing inequality as a result, yet some risks remain.
As some Kazakhs express dissatisfaction with increased infrastructure investment from China, Kazakh analysts warn that transparency is necessary for success of projects, Nikkei reports.
A milestone agreement on trade and economic cooperation signed in May 2018 represents an important step forward for the relationship between the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
China's Belt and Road is commonly visualized as a train carrying commerce across Eurasia. But a train does not adequately capture BRI’s significance or scope. Instead, a Chinese flag is a better representation. Whether it is China’s intention or not, the increasing connectivity the BRI brings comes hand in hand with exposure to Chinese culture.
At risk of granting China valuable concessions to ease their debt burdens, Central Asian countries seek to bolster relations with China and secure a piece of the Belt and Road Initiative, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.
According to Kazakhstan’s minister for investments and development, Zhenis Kassymbek, in an age of economic globalization, the country must balance the competing interests of East and West if it is to become a preeminent transit hub in the region.
Quotes and Quotas is a weekly digest of powerful phrases and facts that help explain Asia’s infrastructure push.
Kazakhstan and China have drafted 51 projects worth a total of $27 billion in the energy, mining, infrastructure and other sectors between 2016 and 2022.
A special report by Nikkei Asian Review and The Banker which leverages data from the CSIS Reconnecting Asia Project has found that China's Belt and Road initiative holds considerable promise for countries in need of infrastructure investment along its route, however, participation has been hampered by challenges ranging from a lack of participation by local workers and banks to unmanageable debt hangovers.
The New Silk Road Project will travel 10,000 miles across China’s Economic Belt from London to Yiwu to investigate the people, projects, countries, and landscapes involved in China's Belt and Road Initiative.
Just 10 years ago, regular direct freight services from China to Europe did not exist. Today, they connect roughly 35 Chinese cities with 34 European cities. But despite their rapid advances, these lines must compete with maritime routes that have dominated commerce between Asia and Europe since the late fifteenth century. It remains to be seen how much trade they can capture.
Kazakhstan is a major partner in China’s multibillion-dollar “New Silk Road” project, but this new documentary by Radio Free Europe shows that their mutual cooperation does not come without some challenges.
Reconnecting Asia is tracking developments across a vast landmass that includes 60 percent of the global economy. Every day, new infrastructure projects are announced, some are advanced, and others encounter obstacles. Here is a selection of the top projects to watch in 2018.
China's regionwide infrastructure drive is proving to be a game changer in the grain trade.
Policymakers in Beijing are eyeing a route from Greece's Piraeus port to a dry port at Khorgos, on Kazakhstan's border with Chin to align their land and maritime strategies.
Major infrastructure projects... can still fail economically in terms of opportunity costs either because of excessive costs or insufficient demand but their political importance can be very significant, even momentous.
Lord George Robertson, former Secretary General of NATO, discusses "one of the gravest and most preventable security risks that faces people - the risk of death and disability on the world's roads."
Done right, Asia's massive infrastructure push could improve road safety, particularly for developing economies such as Kazakhstan.
For developing economies like Kazakhstan, Asia’s infrastructure push offers opportunities to improve road safety.
Is the “City of Gold” a miracle or a model for development?
It could take decades for OBOR to unfold. But it is a development that is worthy of greater attention from U.S. researchers and policymakers today.
While the U.S. and Japan cannot offer as much investment as China in the region, they can offer their expertise and high standards, Matthew Goodman explains in an interview with Nikkei.
It is not impossible that President Nursultan Nazarbayev's vision of Khorgos will emerge in its time; but as it turns two, it is already looking likely that Khorgos will struggle to match Astana’s ambitions—a reminder of some of the larger challenges that Nazarbayev and Kazakhstan will have to overcome on the road to 2050.
With the development of new transportation, communication, energy, and trade linkages, Kazakhstan is at the literal center of a larger post-Soviet Eurasia, and positioned to capture much of whatever overland transit emerges between Europe, East Asia, and possibly South Asia.