China budgets over $4 trillion for Maritime Silk Road, other infrastructure

China is expected to spend between $1 trillion and $4 trillion on construction of Maritime Silk Road to establish three “blue economic passages” to connect with economic hubs around the world.

The trillion will be used to provide railways, ports and other infrastructure under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

The Maritime Silk Road is expected to impact 4.4 billion people across 65 countries and is expected to boost annual trade volume between China and other BRI countries to more than $2.5 trillion over the next decade.

The main focus of the Maritime Silk Road has been the Indo-Pacific transit from China to Africa and Europe, more recently the Northern Sea Route (NSR) has been included as well.

According to information, the Indo-Pacific is already central to global commerce and will become even more important in the coming years. The world’s 10 busiest container ports face the Pacific or Indian Ocean, and more than half of the world’s maritime trade in petroleum transits the Indian Ocean alone.

The ocean’s commercial shipping volume has increased four-fold since 1970, with an estimated 9.84 billion tons of products being transported each year. Exports from Asian economies are expected to rise from 17 percent in 2010 to 28 percent in 2030.

At the same time, the potential for shipping from, to and across the Arctic via the NSR is increasing. With the opening of major new energy export terminal in Russia, the shipping of oil and gas from the Arctic to Asia and Europe is growing rapidly. In August 2018, the value of goods shipped to and from NSR ports in 2018 were already up by 80% from 2017.