Report prepared for the 2016 Annual meeting of the Asian Development Bank, Bonn: German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)
The Belt and Road initiative aspires to put Asia and countries in the Middle East, Europe and Africa on a new trajectory of higher growth and human development through infrastructure connectivity, increased trade and investment. This paper discusses some of the challenges of the Belt and Road initiative and draws lessons from existing regional cooperation programs in Asia. It argues for common approaches to infrastructure development and regional cooperation by supranational institutions, particularly the development banks, and suggests a higher degree of multilateralisation of the Belt and Road initiative. It also points to the challenges of developing new approaches for a new quality of growth, taking into account the agreed goals of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and the Paris agreement on combating climate change.