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Constructing the New Silk Road

This is how the world will change with the New Silk Road

Constructing the New Silk Road

Parag Khanna is a global strategy advisor and author of several books about globalization. He has studied how people connect around infrastructure. We asked him how the world will look like once the Belt and Road Initiative is finalized.

Parag Khanna has studied the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) closely. He describes the BRI as the “largest coordinated infrastructure investment campaign in human history”. During travels in Eastern and Central Asia he has witnessed how the BRI is changing not only the world of logistic but also the living conditions along its route.

The BRI is said to reshape the geography of Asia, if not the whole world. What impact will it have on logistics and trade?

The BRI will accelerate the process that began in 1991 with the collapse of the Soviet Union of customs agreements and enhanced infrastructure enabling more efficient flows of goods and services across borders both within Asia and globally. We are seeing Asian logistics companies merge and form joint ventures at a rapid pace, further enabling market integration.

Global strategy advisor and author Parag Khanna
Global strategy advisor and author Parag Khanna.

Besides trade and logistic, are there other benefits or effects because of the large investment in infrastructure?

Absolutely, the flows of commerce are much more than just trade. We are also seeing visa regulations lifted so that billions of people have greater ease of mobility. This too contributes trillions of dollars to economic growth with tourists, business travelers, students and so forth cross borders in Asia.

When it comes to the construction of infrastructure, what do you think are the most important parts?

All categories of infrastructure are important, whether hard aspects like roads, railways, pipelines, and internet cables, or soft dimensions such as schools, hospitals, and so forth.

In what way will the world be different once BRI is completed?

We are already seeing a shift towards the greater Indian Ocean region of “Afro Eurasia” spanning Europe, Africa and Asia become the center of the world economy and trade. That process will be complete with the full extension of BRI projects across these regions.

Constructing the New Silk Road

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