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Patrick Daley, of Berwin Leighton Paisner (Hong Kong), explains what the Belt and Road Initiative is and why it matters to construction lawyers, outlines some of the difficulties encountered to-date (including issues around governing law) and considers what lies ahead
The Belt and Road Initiative is an infrastructure development strategy initiated by the People’s Republic of China, focusing on the promotion and advancement of international connectivity and co-operation between China and the rest of Eurasia and bordering regions of Africa and Oceania.
The initiative is driven by China’s strategic desire to assume a bigger role in global affairs, to enhance its economic and political ties, to improve the infrastructure and supply chains on which it relies and to export the excess of its manufacturing and production capacity.
The name of the Initiative is intended to evoke the ancient Silk Road trade routes established during the Han dynasty of ancient China.
The Belt and Road Initiative encompasses a broad range of development opportunities, including road, rail and port projects and the creation and expansion of power and communications networks in locations including Indonesia, Pakistan and Western Europe.
Since its inception, the initiative has created opportunities for funders, international consultants and professional service providers in the infrastructure space.
For construction lawyers, the initiati
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