Belt and Road Initiative: Progress and Challenges in Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam
REGIONAL ECONOMIC STUDIES PROGRAMME SEMINAR
About the Seminar
The “Belt and Road Initiative” (formerly known as One Belt, One Road or OBOR) is China’s ambitious proposal to link the overland “Silk Road Economic Belt” and the sea-based “Maritime Silk Road”. It was first introduced by Chinese President Xi Jinping in October 2013 not long after he came to power. Essentially, it is an infrastructure development initiative involving more than 60 countries across Asia, the Middle East and Europe. Later, Oceania and East Africa are also included as parts of the Maritime Silk Road. The cumulative investment of the entire initiative is estimated to be around US$1 trillion. For many countries, China’s BRI holds the promise of investments in badly needed infrastructure projects, such as railways, ports, energy, and other projects. In some countries, some of these projects have already finalized their negotiations and they are being implemented while some projects are still pending. But there are many concerns regarding the BRI projects, ranging from a lack of local participation, lack of economic viability and increased risk of debt hangovers. This seminar discusses the implementation challenges and prospects of BRI projects in Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam. It discusses the potential economic impact of BRI projects in the host countries and analyses the various responses to BRI from a multi-stakeholder perspective (state, business, media and society).
About the Speakers
Siwage Dharma Negara is Fellow at the Regional Economic Studies Programme and the Indonesia Studies Programme at ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute. He is Coordinator for Singapore APEC Study Centre at the same institute. Prior to joining ISEAS, he was an economist at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI). He works on broad range of issues related to the Indonesian economy, with special interest on infrastructure and macroeconomic development. He has a PhD in economics from the University of Melbourne, Australia.
Tham Siew Yean is Senior Fellow at the Regional Economic Studies Programme at ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute and an Adjunct Professor at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. She is a trade economist and works on issues related to trade in goods and services as well as factors of production such as capital (foreign direct investment) and labour (such as foreign workers). She has a PhD in economics from University of Rochester.
Le Hong Hiep is Fellow at the Regional Strategic and Political Studies Programme and the Vietnam Studies Programme of the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute. Hiep earned his PhD in Political and International Studies from the University of New South Wales, funded by a Prime Minister’s Australia – Asia Award. Before becoming an academic, he worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam from 2004 to 2006.