The panel session “The Belt and Road Initiative - path towards a new economic order?” aims at assessing current developments under the framework of China’s flagship initiative. Officially launched in the second half of 2013 by China’s President, Xi Jinping, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) encompasses land route, the Silk Road Economic Belt, connecting China with Europe and an ocean route called the Maritime Silk Road, which links South and South-East Asia with Africa and Europe. BRI is a development strategy focusing on five priority areas: policy coordination, improved connectivity, trade facilitation, financial integration, and people-to-people exchanges. The Initiative is part of the “New Era” in China’s foreign diplomacy aiming at regaining the superpower status or actually the world’s center as it had been in the ancient times.
The purpose of the panel session is to present and discuss current developments within the BRI framework at the level of countries, regions and cities located along BRI routes in South East Asia, Africa, Europe, and especially Central and Eastern Europe, implications for firms and international and supranational institutions, as well as challenges faced by BRI and its future prospects.