China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is likely to result in an investment boost for Asean economies, a Singapore-based think tank said.
The Asean+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO) on Thursday released a report titled “China’s Reform and Opening-Up: Experiences, Prospects, and Implications for Asean,” which took stock of experiences and lessons from China’s reform journey and its implications for the region.
In the report, AMRO said that Association of Southeast Asian Nations economies were a big part of China’s ambitious development strategy, adding that “much of the foundation for the BRI’s progress lies precisely in the prospect for deeper China-Asean integration in the years ahead.”
It noted that the Philippines was among the top 10 BRI trade partners along with other Asean countries such as Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
“In terms of infrastructure, considering the still large developmental needs in Asean, these economies are poised to benefit from the BRI, in terms of improved energy supply, infrastructure and connectivity, facilitating further regional integration,” AMRO said.
It noted that the estimated annual infrastructure investment needs of emerging and developing Asean economies would amount to $15 billion per year on average from 2017 to 2030.
“Through helping to fill the infrastructure investment gap in the region, BRI is also expected to have second-order positive impact through crowding in private investment,” it said.
“Assuming that BRI investment helps fill 20 percent of the infrastructure investment gap, this could crowd in private investment by as much as 0.3 percent of GDP (gross domestic product) within the next two years, with the crowding-in effect most pronounced in the Philippines and in Indonesia,” it added.
Asean is composed of 10 members: the Philippines, along with Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Vietnam.
The BRI is a China-led development strategy unveiled in 2013 that calls for massive infrastructure development and investments in over 80 countries in Europe, Asia and Africa.