20 Apr

BRI (Belt and Road Initiative)

BRI is the largest infrastructure project of China amounting to USD 1.3 trillion. It comprises 6 major corridors.

One of the major dimensions of BRI is the transport sector.

The six corridors mapped under BRI include:

  • CHINA-EUROPE corridor
  • CHINA-MONGOLIA corridor
  • CPEC corridor

It is the combination of land and sea routes.

B3W (build back better world):

  • It is the largest ever investment project in human history that will amount to USD 43 trillion.
  • In the first phase, USD 7 trillion would be invested. It is a project of G7 countries (US, Canada, France, Germany, UK, Australia).
  • B3W is a project on paper.
  • It is not a well elaborated/ well explained project on the other hand BRI is manifested practically.

Major differences between both initiatives are as follows

Transport Sector Projects Under BRI

  1. The most important component is the bullet train project on every corridor.
  2. The second important component is network of highways and motorways.
  3. The third important component is focus on sea routes - China will build 26 seaports under BRI.

Transport Sector Projects Under B3W

  1. Its focus is not primarily on the development of the transport sector or transportation system, with an exception of railway projects announced for eastern Europe and Japan-ASEAN railway track.
  2. This is because its focus is on traditional sea routes.

Energy Sector

Under BRI

  1. China under BRI is focusing mostly on energy projects.
  2. It is focused on hydrocarbon energy projects
  3. Major focus is on oil & gas in the Caspian region – Russia, Asia, Iran, Azerbaijan
  4. Major focus on Hydrocarbons in the Middle East - China will be importing hydrocarbons from Caspian regions and middle east.

Under B3W

  1. B3W does not focus on hydrocarbon projects. It solely focuses on clean energy projects like Wind, Solar and Hydroelectric projects (including tidal energy).

Clean Energy Projects

Under BRI

  • China under BRI is focusing on clean or carbon free energy projects.
  • These include Hydroelectric projects, wind projects, solar projects and civil nuclear projects.

Under B3W

  • B3W does not focus on hydrocarbon projects. It solely focuses on clean energy projects like Wind, Solar and Hydroelectric projects (including tidal energy).

Special Economic Zones

Under BRI

  • Under BRI China will invest in Special Economic Zones. It intends to invest in 150-200 special economic zones by 2090. Of them most will be in Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe respectively.
  • Of these 10 Economic Zones will be under CPEC, 23 under Europe-Asia.

Under B3W

  • B3Ws focus is also on the development of the production sector (industries). Not only of G7 countries, but of East Asia, Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, North & South America.

Agriculture Sector

Under BRI

  • Under BRI China will increasingly invest in the agricultural sector.
  • Especially in South Asia, Central Asia and ASEAN countries. More and more focus will be on agriculture to meet China's increasing future demand.

Under B3W

  • On the other hand, B3W does have an aspect of a food security programme but it is still not clear how much it would invest in the agricultural sector.

Mode of Investment

  • Moreover, the mode of investment under BRI & B3W is different.


  • Diverse modes introduced by China. E.g., loan-based projects - railways etc.
  • China is making heavy investment in BRI projects under the BOT- build, operate, transfer model. (Chinese companies will invest, build projects, and operate it for a particular period) and then will transfer to a particular country.
  • Public-private partnership – majority of the investment in agricultural and industrial sector will be made under public-private partnership and foreign direct investment.
  • BRI primarily comprises developmental projects; there is no major investment on the human development index.


  • This is a loan based project. Investment will be based on commercial loans for development projects.
  • Loan will be provided by
  • IMF
  • World Bank
  • European central bank
  • Asian development bank etc.
  • A significant allocation would be made for social welfare programmes. There will be a focus on human development index, women empowerment
  •  Aid would be provided to uplift the marginalized sectors/ parts of the society.

Project Model

  • BRI is a project of interdependency. It just doesn't have loan-based projects. A significant number of projects are public - private partnerships: Chinese companies and companies of respective countries with major govt investments
  • Investment would be made on BOT Models (build operate and transfer)
  • These are the projects of inert dependency models
  • B3W promotes dependency model through loans
  • BRI and B3W are the projects that will make respective countries dependent on them, this will influence the decision-making process of governments through investment diplomacy.
  • B3W is primarily launched to contain the growing influence of China.


  • BRI is a project that is under practical manifestation. Billions of dollars investment has already been made or is in process. Whether it is Pakistan, Iran, Azerbaijan, Myanmar, ASEAN countries etc.
  • Investment must be initiated under B3W. but if investment initiates then it will be a far bigger project than BRI.
  • The financial constraints of the G7 countries is another hurdle for this initiative.
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