Chief Editor: Ansar Mahmood Bhatti

Belt & Road initiative could increase global trade by 12 percent: Report


LAHORE, JUNE 08 (DNA) –  A report says the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) could help in halving trade costs for countries involved in the project and increase world trade by 12 percent.

A report prepared by ING Economic and Financial Analysis says BRI is growing transport connections between Asia and Europe. It said trade between the countries involved accounts for more than a quarter of world trade, so improved connectivity and lesser trade costs which come with it would have a significant global impact.

ING’s report says countries in Central Asia and Eastern Europe would gain the most from BRI, however, benefits would be contingent upon where trade costs decrease.

It adds “other parts of the Trans-Asian rail network do not yet support international freight services to the same degree. Gaps in the network require around 12,400km of the track to be laid (some 10% of the network). 3 Routes through Iran and Turkey (designated as the BRI’s China-Central Asia-West Asia “economic corridor”) could offer an alternative route between China and Europe, as well as connecting China, the Middle East and North Africa by rail. However, this will only be feasible with more investment to construct and upgrade the network and its supporting infrastructure.”

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