Belt and Road Counterpart of Sustainable Development Goal 2030

DEVELOPMENT, 22 Oct 2018

Anup Paudel – TRANSCEND Media Service

18 Out 2018 – Two grand agenda developed since 2013 in the world. The agenda is globally known as, “United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goal” and “Belt and Road” Initiative. The United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda is a plan for people and globe. The Agenda embrace development in every possible aspect building peace and prosperity. If Nations collaborate efficiently with these agenda outcome eradicate menaces of economy also terminate impoverish atmosphere of world reducing global challenges. Beside One Belt One Road, is grand initiative of China attaining similar principles of SDG. Unless political cooperation, technological advancement, business leadership, infrastructure development is enhanced actual implementation of SDG’s seems turbulent. The three pillars of sustainable goal: Economic growth, Social inclusion, and Environmental sustainability should work mutually to achieve listed theme of United Nations. SDG’s require not only political settlement, peace and prosperity it equally needs huge financial investment for the proper implementation. Among Sustainable Development Goal Infrastructure Development also holds prime importance.

Infrastructure development is a challenge, as not only powerful economies need infrastructure but the entire globe demands infrastructure. United Nations SDG’s major concern is at Infrastructure. Globe needs better Infrastructure while it is the investment of roads railways, nuclear power plants and wind farms that foster Industrialization, Innovation and technological advancement. Failure to invest at these sectors fails economies to grow. For Infrastructure growth China’s recent plan “One Belt One Road” complements United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 2030. OBOR primary focus of plan is at UN Goal 9 (Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive sustainable industrialization and foster innovation). On, 2013 Xi Jingping’s proposed plan, “One Belt One Road and Maritime Silk Road” revival of ancient China’s Silk Road used for trading silk from China to Eurasia. The wise Han Dynasty traders of (120 BEC) open the road connecting Africa, Asia, and Europe. The route embraced deep cooperation and development, connects and strengthen border for easy access also the revival of ancient route once again could shorten the distance of the countries. For OBOR, until now China has confirmed five circuits: North Circuit A, North Circuit B, Middle Circuit, South Circuit and the Central Circuit and the six great economic corridors. Among corridors, “China- Myanmar-Bangladesh – India Corridor and China- Pakistan Economic Corridor are solely related to South Asia and the corridors are the supreme route connecting China with Arabian and Indian Ocean.

Corridor Development from Belt and Road

History reveals, China – Pakistan two bordering Nations amicable relationship is of mutual trust and support. Both the country is consolidating mutual assistance and cooperation politically and economically. The commencement of China Pakistan Economic Corridor is a treaty amid China & Pakistan that leads friendship at zenith. The corridor focuses on development of Energy, Windmill, Roads and Pipelines while it is a game changer for Pakistan’s economy. Similarly, construction of Karakoram Highway (KKH) connects Gilgit-Baltistan in Pakistan and Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China and finally connects Islamabad Gwadar port to Arabian Sea. The KKH (Friendship Highway) is the highest motorway and the biggest project in South Asia since the highway trigger South Asian Counties. Highway of 887 is the source of grand Industrialization, Innovation and Technological Advancement in Pakistan. The Highway leads new Foreign Investment and Co-operation in every economic sector. “China-Myanmar-Bangladesh–India Economic Corridor, is a corridor advocated from OBOR initiatives that synergies China’s contemporary issues. The corridor is point of South Asia and South East Asia however, the region suffers poverty and low Infrastructure while opulent in natural resource region lacks proper management. The robust development in Infrastructure gives new hope to Myanmar and Bangladesh also India and China intensifies trade and business within South Asia and South East Asia with easy access of road and highways. The upsurge of border dispute amid India and China creates conflict in OBOR also the Sino-India Border Conflict (1962) a disputed Himalayas border arise sense of detachment in two emerging power of Asia. Apart, from dispute CMBIEC is potential corridor upholding enough opportunities.

The other Rail and Motor way that connect Tibet Autonomous Region is China-Nepal-India (CNI). Although, the cooperation yet has not formed as a corridor but the scope of this route is very high in future. Currently, China is working on border of Nepal for opening new trade routes that connects CNI straight. The corridor enhances border cooperation and connects Maritime Silk Road. It builds modern communication and transportation networks, connects sub-region by railroad and air, expand intra-regional trade, develop tourism, and advance technology leveraging ancient ties. Therefore, UN SDG agenda and OBOR should integrate to generate new model of sustainable infrastructure development and the combination strongly supports SDG’s goal 9 (Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation) creating win-win situation in entire South Asia.

Impact of Infrastructure Development in Balance of Trade

The approved corridors linking China with South and South East Asia exclude direct connection with Nepal meanwhile the interlinkage is strong in other states yet Nepal is robust in intensifying itself as “Land Link Nation” as Land linkage is possible through Tibet autonomous Region marching ahead to nearest port (Raksual) in India. The harmony in corridor allows smooth operation of trade; among 195 Nepal is 150th largest export economy in the world. In 2016, Nepal exported $909M and imported $6.61B, resulting negative trade balance of $5.7B. Although, Nepal-India-China corridor is not a complete problem solver so far a minimizer since inaugural of route reduce trade dependency on India. The Balance of Trade remains deficit for Nepal is feeble in consolidating negative trade but Belt and Road remains rescuer in monitoring trade gaps. The top exports of Nepal are Flavored Water, Knotted Carpets, Non-Retail Synthetic Staple Fibers Yarn, Nutmeg and Fruit Juice, using the 1992 revision of the HS (Harmonized System) classification. Even after infrastructure growth, the graph of Balance of Trade seems turbulent as imported products are of bigger worth but the corridor supports in growing top export item to other part of globe and nourishes small trades and it stands as promoter of Nepal’s tourism, culture and lifestyles. The top export destinations of Nepal are India, the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom and China while the connectivity upsurge export to China and is expected to export Bangladesh and Sri Lanka from the connected port. China-Nepal-India connectivity increase import from China and the projected corridors are comparatively nearer so it is the cost effective route plummeting product price and augmenting purchasing power which influence in saving dollar of Nepalese if suitable price control mechanism initiated.

Belt and Road initiation complements Sustainable Development Goal 2030 “Infrastructure Development”. In context of Nepal, Infrastructure is a challenge it plays vital role for management of an economy lagging Infrastructure Nepal’s economy is failing. The developed Nations are opulent in infrastructure since the rudimentary necessities are satisfied when infrastructural development occurs thereby development of infrastructure solely improve Nepal’s trade connection with other part of world maintaining trade balance.


Anup Paudel, from Nepal, is a research scholar at Career Point University, Kota, India. His areas of interest are finance, economic studies, microanalysis of development finance and sociology. He has published research articles in international journals and writes column in Nepali newspapers.


This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 22 Oct 2018.

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