The comprehensive initiative of the China to establish integration and economic routes in Eurasia can involve new continents and countries in its orbit, expanding the prospects of economic cooperation between all participants along the routes.
“More countries are expressing interest in China’s so-called Belt and Road Initiative, because of just how big it is growing”, said Nicholas Holt, research chief from the London-based “Knight Frank” real estate agency, in an interview with CNBC.
According to the analyst, an extensive inclusive program is starting to talk about countries in South America and Western Europe.
The initiative envisages the establishment of six transport corridors:
1. New Eurasian land bridge (China – Kazakhstan – Russia);
2. China – Mongolia – Russia Corridor;
3. China – Central Asia – West Asia Corridor (Tajikistan – Uzbekistan – Turkmenistan – Iran-Turkey);
4. China-Indochina Peninsula Corridor;
5. Bangladesh – China – Myanmar Corridor;
6. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
In addition to the six corridors, Eurasia will be girdled by economic belt. And the Maritime Silk Road of 21 century will pass via Indian ocean to African shores, which can be naturally extended to Latin America and the Caribbean basin.
According to estimates of the rating agency Fitch, US $ 900 billion of infrastructure project finance is committed to the projects of initiative’s planned corridors.
In this context, the word “corridor” means the logistics network linking roads, railways, ports, pipelines, air harbors, transnational power transmission lines and fiber-optic communication between Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
The entire grid of transport and communication channels of the Belt and the Road covers more than 65 countries or 60% of the world’s population and 40% of global GDP.
In macroeconomic terms, it is a huge export-import market with 4.5 billion people.
It is worth to note, that Turkmenistan, in addition to its role as a link in the mentioned corridor No. 3 and economic belt, pursuing a strategy of expanding national infrastructure along East-West and North-South lines, has ready access to corridor No. 1, CPEC and even to the maritime belt.
For example, multimodal delivery of goods from Turkmenistan through the Iranian port of Chabahar or Pakistani Gwadar to the Kenyan port of Mombasa – one of the points of the maritime silk belt, can take just 11-13 days.
In addition, the country’s open foreign economic policy would potentially put any available transit connectivity at the service of the entire Central Asian region.