Belt And Road Weekly Investor Intelligence #126   

Posted by Reading Time: 4 minutes

Tuesday, March 28, 2023    

Compiled by Chris Devonshire-Ellis

Last week’s Xi-Putin summit has immediately ushered in substantial global dialogue in reconstructing a ‘new world order’ to which the collective West has not been privy. Enhanced cooperation between the SCO, EAEU, CIS, and a rapidly developing BRICS+ could well be a harbinger of ‘global çhanges’ – words used by Xi to Putin as he departed Moscow. We highlight what these are.

On a regional basis, we look at the China / Vietnam competition debate and discuss opportunities in the Philippines as part of RCEP. In Central Asia, we highlight the impact of the BRI in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, and in the Middle East look at Chinese regional influence. Russia is developing financial ties in Africa, while the first Beijing direct freight train is shortly to arrive in Moscow.

To obtain a complimentary subscription to these briefings please click here.


China, Russia, Propose Global Trade and Cooperation ‘New Era’

With the Putin-Xi Summit now over, the Joint China-Russia Comprehensive Strategic Statement from both proposes a multi-polar world. Their existing allies may have the collective means to globally instigate this, despite Western objections.


Commonwealth of Independent States, Eurasian Economic Union, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the BRICS Discuss An Economic Partnership

An International Forum named “The Dialogue of Integrations” held between the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), and the BRICS has been held in Moscow under the auspices of the Business Centre for Economic Cooperation of the CIS and the Executive Committee of the Commonwealth of Independent States. Western nations were not invited.


The Putin-Xi Summit – Their Joint Statement and Analysis

In a statement largely derided in the West, the Chinese and Russian Presidents have released a “Joint Comprehensive Strategic Plan For A New Era” following their Moscow summit. Yet much of the West’s political commentary focuses only on their security concerns and omits broader global interests. In this article, we analyze the complete statement and unpack what it means, the implications of this, and the implied upcoming changes from a multipolar perspective.


The BRICS Has Overtaken The G7 In Global GDP

The India-based Megh Updates platform, one of the world’s largest online informational platforms in terms of views, has stated that BRICS countries have officially overtaken G7 in the share of world PPP GDP, and this trend can be expected to continue.

Egypt Becomes A Member Of The BRICS New Development Bank

Egypt joins the original five members along with Bangladesh and UAE in acquiring a position within the BRICS bank equity, as BRICS+ becomes a reality.


Can Vietnam Replace China? No, And it was Never Supposed to Either

An opinion piece in Bloomberg titled ‘Trying to Replace China’s Supply Chains? Don’t Bother?’, published March 1, 2023, claims that ‘Vietnamese factories were supposed to save globalization’ but that they cannot. This is incorrect and here’s why, writes Dezan Shira and Associates, Head of Vietnam Business Intelligence, Pritesh Samuel.

Philippines Ratifies RCEP Agreement: Opportunities for Businesses

The Philippines Senate has officially ratified the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement, making the country the last signatory aside from Myanmar to conclude this significant trade deal. Having signed off the RCEP, we discuss prospects in key growth sectors in the Philippines – agriculture, BPO, and electronics.


EBRD Report: Anti-Russian Sanctions Are Boosting Central Asian Economies

Countries in Central Asia and the South Caucasus have made impressive trade development strides thanks to the intermediary trade in goods from Western countries to Russia. After the introduction of sanctions, the trade turnover of the European Union with Russia’s neighbors to the East increased many times, while their Russia trade also increased. Intra-EAEU trade was up 40% in 2022.

Uzbekistan Wants China Relations To Progress From Trade To Investment

Since the implementation of Uzbekistan’s new economic policy last year, the country’s economic cooperation with external powers, including Russia, China, and the countries of the European Union has deepened considerably, with the Chinese presence in Uzbekistan deemed significant. In this article, we analyze the current economic cooperation between Uzbekistan and China.

Turkmenistan’s Opportunities and Challenges from China’s Belt & Road Initiative

Turkmenistan acts as China’s corridor for cooperation in the cross-border transportation system, increasing the number and volume of container train traffic and reaching the markets of South Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and the Caspian Sea. Beijing also wants to reach the West through Turkmenistan and the Central Asia-Caspian Sea-Caucasus route. This means that the BRI is opening up Turkmenistan to China and other important markets in Central Asia and the Middle East.


Why The UAE Joined The BRICS New Development Bank

The United Arab Emirates joined the (BRICS) New Development Bank (NDB) in September 2021. With the BRICS including Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, with Mexico also poised to join, the bloc is poised for additional expansion during 2023.

China and The Developing Multipolar Order in the Middle East

The recent Iran / Saudi Arabia agreement lays out a step-by-step program on re-instating severed relations between the two nations. This was brokered by China and speaks volumes about Beijing’s growing influence in the Middle East. We discuss the implications.


Proposals Made For Establishing A Joint Russia-African Bank

Proposals have been made by Burkina Faso for a Russia-Africa Trade Policy Bank to better service pan-African Russia trade. We discuss the likely interested trade investment parties.

First Moscow Direct Freight Train Departs From Beijing

The route is about 9,000km long. The goods being transported include auto parts, building materials, home appliances, fabrics, clothing, home furnishings, and so on. Many are Chinese manufactured replacements for European products.

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.