Optimizing the Development Impacts of the Belt and Road Initiative to achieve the SDGs in Asian Economies
25 Sep 2019



Bangkok, 25 September 2019 - The regional workshop on “Assessing the Potential Impact of the Belt and Road Initiative on Sustainable Development Goals in Asian Economies” kicked off today in Bangkok, Thailand. Organized by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) in cooperation with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the workshop aims to discuss and understand how the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) can contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda while managing its potential risks in the region.


The workshop provides a platform for exchanging views and finding results from the experience and research activities undertaken by DESA, ESCAP and other UN agencies. It builds on the in-depth BRI-related research conducted by DESA. UN DESA is partnering with national governments in implementing a multi-country project “Strengthening national policy capacities for jointly building the Belt and Road towards the Sustainable Development Goals” (BRI-SDGs Project), sponsored by the 2030 Agenda Sub-fund of the UN Peace and Development Trust Fund. The Project has been implemented in 14 countries since July 2018, namely Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Czechia, Georgia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Romania, Serbia, Sri Lanka and Thailand. It utilizes the World Economic Forecasting Model developed by DESA and tailored to national contexts to assess the macroeconomic impact of the initiative in various countries. The workshop also highlights ESCAP's BRI-related research and programmatic activities with a focus on sustainable connectivity and macroeconomic analysis.


The UN's engagement on the BRI is primarily aimed at aligning its implementation more closely with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This workshop serves as a good example of exploring synergies of BRI-related activities by UN Agencies, which enables the UN's engagement to more effectively serve the sustainable development objectives of countries along the Belt and Road. The workshop also contributes to strengthening the capacities of participating experts on impact assessment and modelling analysis on major regional initiatives.


As part of the regional workshop, national stakeholders from Thailand discussed the impacts of BRI on the national development priorities in the country and examined the impact of infrastructure connectivity on local investment, trade and tourism in particular.


Over 50 representatives from the government, think tanks, private sector and development partners as well as colleagues from DESA, ESCAP, UNDP, UNICEF, UN WOMEN, UNOPS, and UNDCO regional office participated in the workshop.


Dr. Namsuk Kim from Economic Analysis and Policy Division of United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs took part in the workshop. He attended 2018 Silk Road Business Summit in Zhangjiajie held by SRCIC.


ICC Thailand, a member of SRCIC, also sent a group of representatives to the workshop.