Belt and Road Weekly Investor Intelligence #119    

Posted by Reading Time: 3 minutes

Tuesday, February 7, 2023 

Compiled by Chris Devonshire-Ellis           

China’s 2022 performance in funding BRI projects is better than many naysayers have stated and was up 64% in 2021. China and India are both expected to be the main global growth drivers during 2023. There is plenty of movement in the Middle East as its high-projected GDP growth sees it attract trade agreements, although a regional war could disrupt supply chains. Russia’s efforts at wooing Africa are also paying off, while the global digital banking system is poised for a surprising technology upgrade.

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China’s 2022 Belt & Road Investments Up 63% YoY on EV Tech and Energy

China’s investment in Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) countries rose last year to the highest level since 2019, with much of that increase due to a new battery plant for electric vehicles. Chinese investments into the 147 nations part of the BRI rose 63% to US$32.5 billion from 2021, according to a report from Fudan University Green Finance and Development Centre.

China, India, to be Major Global Growth Drivers During 2023 – IMF

China and India will account for half of the global economic growth in 2023 versus just a tenth for the US and the EU combined, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its World Economic Outlook. The IMF stated China’s GDP growth was expected to reach 5.2% during the year, while India would achieve growth of 7%. Chinese and Indian consumerism will be attractive markets for businesses looking for higher returns than the West is currently able to deliver.


India’s Trade and Investment Ties with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)

India’s trade and investment relationship with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states – UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, and Bahrain have seen increased investment inflow from India towards their development plans. The UAE and Saudi Arabia are increasing trade engagement with India and have emerged as India’s third and fourth-largest trading partners. This increasing economic synergy will facilitate fresh impetus to conclude a free trade agreement.


UAE-Cambodia CEPA Agreement Expected Later in 2023

A CEPA is a type of free trade agreement (FTA) that is generally designed for a more holistic coverage beyond just commodities and can contain provisions for services, investments, dispute resolution, intellectual property rights, government procurement, and additional forms of specialized economic cooperation. The third round of talks is set to be held in Abu Dhabi next month.

Iraq, Russia Want to Move Payment for Oil to ‘’Reliable Currencies”

Latest energy-rich economies to move to drop US dollar.

Has Iran and Russia’s Financial Messaging Link Up Sped Up the Demise of SWIFT and Ushered in a Global Payments Revolution?

Asset-backed crypto, unsustainable debt ceilings, and the emergence of SWIFT alternatives are all en route as the emerging world flexes its financial, credit capability, and productivity muscles.

Iran, Azerbaijan Move Closer to Military Conflict

Serious implications for the INSTC and routes from the EU to Asia.


Turkiye, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan Agree on Trade & Economic Cooperation Deal

These agreements contain provisions in science, education, culture, energy, trade, customs, and transportation. All the nations involved are key members of the INSTC network, with Turkiye and Azerbaijan to the West coast of the Caspian Sea with links through to Europe, and Turkmenistan on the East with links through to Central Asia.


2023 Africa-Russia Trade Summary

Political relations between Russia and Africa underwent a ‘reset’ after the 2019 Russia Africa Summit in Sochi, Russia. Russia has announced it could now set aside some resources to look further abroad – and at Africa in particular. Several underlying trends can be distinguished as likely to unite the efforts between Africa and Russia.


Sberbank, Russia’s Largest Bank to Launch Ethereum Platform in April

The move will see Sberbank take the global lead in blockchain finance.

About Us Dezan Shira & Associates provide business intelligence, market research, legal, tax and compliance issues for foreign investors throughout Asia, and have 28 offices across the region. We are members of the Leading Edge Alliance, a network of related firms with offices throughout the world. For assistance with Belt & Road Initiative research, please contact us at or visit us at To subscribe to our Belt & Road Initiative portal, please click here.