The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), launched by China’s president Xi Jinping, currently covers over 70 countries. The BRI is a crucial component of Chinese external economic relations, and has led to government-driven outward investment in mining and infrastructure projects, logistics, industrial parks, etc. in the Eurasia region and beyond.
An increasingly important component of the BRI initiative is the Digital Silk Road (DSR), which includes projects and investments in artificial intelligence, smart city development, and 5G technologies. China is using new communication technologies (especially 5G) to build a “global information highway” with China at its core. This policy allows Beijing to promote its own standards, its own companies, and its own digital highway, thereby granting it the benefits of new captive markets for Chinese tech firms and tools for leverage.
Despite the potential profitable opportunities for international private sector companies, recent survey results suggest that the involvement of European companies in the BRI has been very limited. European companies have largely played niche roles in BRI projects, providing specific technological solutions that Chinese companies may lack.
UNU-CRIS is assisting in the preparation a special issue of the Asia Pacific Business Review that will focus on better understanding how multinational companies, states, and regional economic organisations can respond to the BRI from a strategic point of view for the post-pandemic era.
Authors who are interested in contributing an article are invited to submit an abstract by 15 September 2020. For those selected, first drafts will be due by 15 January 2021.
Selected authors will be expected to present their paper at a Special Issue workshop in early 2021 (to be held either at NEOMA Business school in Paris, conditions permitting, or online). Final selected papers that pass the peer-review process will be published in a special issue of the Asia Pacific Business Review.
For more, see the Call for Papers announcement on the UNU-CRIS website.