Belt and Road Weekly Investor Intelligence #89

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The United Kingdom makes a rare yet significant appearance in our BRI round-up this week as the recent Chinese attempts to persuade the UK Commonwealth’s South Pacific members into a Chinese security bloc have raised ire in London. We examine the UK and Chinese trade and investment policy into Asia, look at where UK battlelines are being drawn, and what impact the serious likelihood of the next British Prime Minister being Asian could have.  

Elsewhere we look at how China turned initial casino developments into huge infrastructure projects in Southeast Asia, funded largely from Chinese gambling losses, and how Russia continues to make inroads east with Iran, Mongolia, and China. As usual, we close with our global BRI round-up, with plenty of mostly negative opinions concerning the G7’s BRI competitor, with even US senators stating concerns about transparency.      

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Britain In Asia

Britain And China’s Competition For Asian Trade & Investment – New Complimentary Issue Of Asia Investment Research Out Now 

This issue of AIR contains unique data into the trade and investment statistics and policies that the UK and China have chosen to adopt when it comes to their respective Asia policies. Featuring the latest updates and UK-China comparisons on their trade and investment strategy with all ASEAN nations, we explore the differences in thinking that drive their respective trade and investment into the region. These differences are substantial and provide useful insights for UK investors in Asia.  

Prepare For Battle: The UK Aims To Fight Back Against China Trade & Investment In Asia 

A recalibration of UK-Asia policy is on the cards after China went for London’s interests in the South Pacific.  

The Next British Prime Minister Could Be Of Asian Heritage. How Could This Impact Upon The UK’s Trade With The Asian Region? 

With the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson now has resigned following a series of personal political debacles, several senior conservative politicians may decide to throw their hats in to be his replacement. Interestingly, four of the candidates to either potentially hold the Prime Ministerial role or be very key members of the Cabinet office following Johnson’s fall are Asian. We examine their backgrounds and how this may impact on UK-Asian relations. 

Belt & Road Initiative

Remember China’s Casinos In Southeast Asia? They Were Actually Launch Pads For Infrastructure Developments 

A little-known aspect of China’s Belt and Road Initiative has been the use of casino developments to spur much-needed infrastructure. Beijing knows the behavioral aspects of its people well, and it is noticeable that on both the Cambodia and Laos borders, sufficiently close to China (where gambling is illegal) to attract mainland Chinese tourists, casinos began to be established over ten years ago. What is surprising though is that the income from this has generally been recycled into active infrastructure projects with real value.   

Russia Talks Trade & Economic Development With Iran  

Russia is looking to enhance its trade connectivity access to the Middle East and South Asia, with Iran strategically important in allowing it to do so. Russia has Caspian Sea access via its ports at Astrakhan, which permits maritime shipment south to Iran’s Caspian ports at Anzali amongst others. From there, road, and from early 2023, rail transport can continue south to Bandar Abbas and the Chabahar Ports giving access to the Persian Gulf.  

Aeroflot To Launch Regular Passenger Service To Chengdu   

Aeroflot plans to launch regular passenger flights from Moscow to the Chinese city of Chengdu, Sichuan province, from July 22, Russia’s flagship airline said in a statement. Aeroflot will operate the flights once per week on a wide-body Airbus A330. 

Russia Looks To Mongolia To Further Develop China Trade & Connectivity 

Arctic gas transit to China and increased Russia-China rail capacity are very much on the agenda.   

China’s Belt & Road And Beyond    

All the latest global headlines about China’s Belt & Road Initiative, with more opinions concerning the G7 commitment to spend US$600 billion on their “Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment”, including US senator concerns about ‘transparency’.      

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.