BRI needs project management and consultancy that is results-based

Since the Belt and Road Initiative’s founding in 2013, as of October 2023, China has signed more than 230 cooperation agreements with more than 150 nations and 30 international organizations. According to media sources, the BRI has been responsible for the inception and implementation of more than 3,000 projects over the past ten years, and it has created 420,000 jobs. On average, these projects have been finished three years after they were committed to. It hasn’t been thoroughly examined, nevertheless, if these initiatives have squared the high-quality efficiency circle.


De jure environmental, social, and governance protections for Chinese infrastructure projects have been discovered by a few Western academics. It’s unclear if these protections have been put in place in practice. It is true that China is still learning how to implement sustainable development initiatives, and institutions must be established in order to increase capacity. Standards for managing projects involving foreign aid have been formalized and organized by the recently founded China International Development Cooperation Agency. Adopting a number of regulations pertaining to consulting services for foreign aid projects is one of these de jure changes.


Although more experimental evaluations have been conducted recently, there are no systemic or regulatory standards for them. Rather than handing this area over to Western media and academics, China should make full use of its resources and enhance its capacity in high-quality foreign aid project management as a responsible development partner and financier. This is critical because quality control shouldn’t be the weak link in the global development and finance framework while creating the “high-quality BRI.”

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