Sustainable Silk Roads conference

Start date and time

Wednesday 4 October 2017

to Thursday 5 October 2017


The Confucius Institute for Scotland, The University of Edinburgh

China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has gained greater attention in the United Kingdom. This is the first major conference in Scotland that provides exposure to the world’s largest economic development initiative and assess what impact the BRI will have in business, in academia, in policy making, and on the world. It seeks to understand how BRI can be implemented in a sustainable fashion.

The conference featured a keynote speech from the UK former Prime Minister, Rt Hon Gordon Brown.

Speaking at the conference’s plenary session on Finance, Dr Marizah Minhat, raised a concern about the risks associated with BRI-linked projects.

Dr Minhat said: “Deviation across countries in terms of legal infrastructures, transparency and governance systems is a source of risk in itself. I suppose lenders or investors should be worried not only about financial risk such as credit risk and forex risk, but also political risk that would create greater uncertainties of the future cash flows to be derived from any infrastructure, energy or green projects that we may have in mind and talked about.”

Dr Minhat added: “Using conventional debt to finance BRI is feared to contribute further to unsustainable debt burden."

It has been fully acknowledged that BRI provides tremendous investment opportunities, but a critical question is how to manage such risky investment projects.