China’s BRI hits a brick wall: Macro Macchiato 02/12/19
I’ve been writing a course on the evolution of the Chinese shipping industry over the last 40 years and its likely trajectory over the next 20 years, to be hosted by Lloyd’s Maritime Academy. It starts this week in case you’re interested. And if it tickles your fancy, here’s a webinar introducing the subject. Anyway, it’s impossible to write about such matters without considering the Belt and Road Initiative; a sneaky preview of some of the course content reveals that in some directions the BRI has been bumping into BRICK walls.
Some people think the BRI is a jolly marketing wheeze to artificially stimulate China’s neighbouring economies to the level where their middle classes can buy all the consumer goods that China’s ageing population won’t be buying in a few years’ time. Others think that the BRI is a sinister plan to lure unsuspecting frontier economies into debt servitude. Washington, D.C.-based thinktank, the Center for Global Development, identifies eight countries that may struggle with their debt repayments to China: Djibouti, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, the Maldives, Mongolia, Montenegro, Pakistan, and Tajikistan.
Curiously they don’t include Sri Lanka, where the return of the Rajapaksa family to the Presidency has led to calls for another refinancing of their pet project, Hambantota port and free trade zone. Ajith Nivard Cabraal, a former central bank governor and an economic adviser to Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, said in a media interview, “The ideal situation would be to go back to status quo. We pay back the loan in due course in the way that we had originally agreed without any disturbance at all.”
More sympathetic observers agree with President Xi when he… Click here to read the rest of Macro Macchiato
Certificate in Chinese Shipping
Chinese shipping is a hugely important part of global trade, and it is growing in importance and size. Eight of its ports are listed in the top ten largest ports of the world, and the Belt and Road initiative is intended to grow more maritime traffic. 90% of all shipping containers are produced in China, and the throughput of cargo and containers at China’s ports has been the largest in the world for the past five years, with a CAGR of 35%. However, the trade war with the US is posing threats to the industry.
This course is designed to give an insight into the importance of Chinese shipping in global trade, the effects it can have on trade lanes and will provide you with an understanding of how the Chinese government and ship owners can affect the industry.