In 2013 China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was launched by President Xi Jinping with a goal of increasing economic prosperity by improving China’s global connectivity.
As of March 2022, there were 147 countries (1) participating in the BRI with China. As we approach the 10th anniversary, what is the impact on China trade as the world’s largest exporter?
In the graph we show China exports to BRI countries from 2012 through 2022. For comparison we show China’s exports to non-BRI countries and the U.S. (second largest global exporter) to both BRI and non-BRI countries.
On a constant 2022 $USD basis, China’s % export growth rate to BRI countries significantly exceeds the other benchmarks. Despite starting from a much smaller export value in 2012, China’s exports to BRI countries grew by 0.62 trillion USD. This is almost double its export growth to the rest of the world. From a strictly trade flow analysis, China’s BRI initiative is a success story.
In Part 2 we will examine imports from BRI partner countries by China and the U.S. and the implications for global strategy.
(1). Green Finance & Development Center