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Dirk van der Kley – Less is More…The New BRI in Central Asia
February 18, 2020 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Speaker: Dirk van der Kley, Program Director for Policy Research, China Matters
Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative has changed significantly in Central Asia in the last few years. In particular, direct Chinese government lending through Eximbank to Central Asian states has completely dried up. Instead the focus has shifted to smaller investment projects that create jobs for Central Asians and exports for Central Asian states, while also providing benefits for Chinese companies. This is a much tougher task than just building infrastructure. It forces Chinese companies to operate in challenging business environments in Central Asia in key sectors. This presentation will systematically examine how these changes are paying out in each Central Asian state. It will demonstrate that Chinese companies have their own agency. For example, they still try to shift debt burdens onto recipient states through hidden means or joint ventures with Central Asian state-owned enterprises.