The Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport (CILT) Sri Lanka Logistics Leaders’ Evening was held recently with a lecture titled ‘China’s Belt & Road Initiative – A realization of an Aspiration’ by Professor Paul Tae-Woo Lee at the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka Auditorium.
Professor Paul Tae-Woo Lee is a Professor at the School of Business IT and Logistics and Leader of the One Belt One Road (OBOR) Research Lab in RMIT University Melbourne Australia.
The presentation showcased a detailed explanation of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – the depth and extensiveness of which is still little understood. Professor Lee did mention that there are still no detailed studies on the impact of BRI, and currently only a shallow understanding prevails.
The key elements of the BRI included a fascinating network of infrastructure& city clusters aiming to restructure China’s economic model and transportation network, as we currently know it. He also briefly touched on some of the various corridors such as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Greater Mekong Sub Region and China-Russia Corridor, all of which entail tremendous investments to set up physical infrastructure and modernizing trading networks.
The BRI has kicked off in Sri Lankawith two strong projects in the Colombo International Financial City and the Hambantota Port. Certain areas that were mentionedwhere Sri Lanka would have to expand on would be how to set up progressive port policies for its future and there were several examples in the region like Singapore that could be used to benchmark. Interestingly, the BRI is looking to transform the economies of countries that it has targeted whilst providing job opportunities and uplifting living standards.
Forbes magazine recently quoted “The allure of Hambantota to China is its location: right smack in the middle of the energy supply lines between the Middle East and East Asia; a logically positioned node in Xi Jinping’s signature 21st Century Maritime Silk Road - an emerging network of new and enhanced seaports stretching from the coast of China to Africa, Europe, and beyond. Like so, Hambantota has interests to China that extend far beyond the economic capacity of the port itself, as it is a key building block of the country’s long-term foreign policy vision -- which seems to make all the problems that have arose during its initial stages of development worth it”.
CILT continues with its annual International Conference, which will be held on the 03rd of October that will showcase several such internationally renowned speakers on several key topics it its endeavor to educate the key stakeholders in the shipping, logistics and transportation industry.