Which Countries Have Benefited the Most from China’s Belt and Road Initiative?

HKUST IEMS Thought Leadership Brief No. 32


Albert Park

  • Analysis of project-level data on China’s outbound FDI and construction projects finds that the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has led to a large increase in China’s outbound FDI in Belt and Road (B&R) countries compared to non-B&R countries, especially for greenfield FDI projects and in the energy sector
  • The importance of economic fundamentals in allocating Chinese investment to different countries has declined substantially under the BRI, raising concerns that the expected returns to such investments has declined
  • The importance of governance quality in explaining China’s outbound FDI increased significantly under the BRI, dispelling concerns that under the BRI China targets investments toward corrupt, poorly governed countries

Taking Stock of the Belt and Road Initiative 

The author will discuss the insights from the study on which this Brief is based at the event "Taking Stock of the Belt and Road Initiative" to be held on 20 September 2019 in Shanghai.  

A simplified Chinese version of this brief is available here.  

Media Coverage

Two opinion pieces attributed to this Brief's author have been published in traditional Chinese on the Hong Kong Economic Journal. 


This research is supported by the Strategic Public Policy Research Funding Scheme from the Central Policy Unit of the HKSAR Government.   More >> 


About the author

Albert Park was the previous Director of the Institute for Emerging Market Studies, Head and Chair Professor of Economics, Chair Professor of Social Science, and Professor of Public Policy at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. More >> 


Get updates from HKUST IEMS