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BRI Newsletter Nov. 19th 2021

The Silk Road Headlines newsletter mostly focuses on China’s Belt and Road Initiative, but recently some attention has been given to US President Biden’s Build Back Better World (B3W) and the EU’s redesigned connectivity strategy: EU Global Gateway. One country whose infrastructure diplomacy we have not extensively featured is India. Recently, Ritika Passi from the PerthUSAsia Centre published a short report about India’s infrastructure diplomacy in the context of an increasingly competitive Indo-Pacific. She explains that although India does not have a flagship initiative like the BRI, it is an active player in infrastructure investment tied to development cooperation. India’s focus has been its own neighbourhood, with countries in South Asia and Africa receiving most investment (particularly Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal, and Sri Lanka). One of the primary drivers of India’s infrastructure plans spanning maritime and digital spaces is power competition with China. Several projects have also faced challenges. According to Passi, domestic politics is often a reason that infrastructure projects (for example those in Nepal and Sri Lanka). Other issues such as “bureaucratic delays, challenging work conditions and an uncertain security situation” present challenges to the India-Myanmar Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project and the India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway. provided by

Vera Kranenburg from Clingedael Institte

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