Aligning the Belt and Road Initiative with Myanmar’s Sustainable Development Plan: Opportunities and Challenges

Volume 50 Number 4
Published: December 19, 2019

The ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) by the Chinese government provides an important opportunity to promote the global implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This article, using Myanmar as a country case study as it is strongly committed to both the BRI and the 2030 Agenda, aims to paint a nuanced picture of how the BRI could benefit Myanmar’s sustainable development. After providing an overview of Myanmar’s recent development context, the Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan (MSDP), and the progress of China–Myanmar cooperation under the BRI, it argues that there are both big opportunities and huge challenges in tapping the potential of the BRI’s development dividends for Myanmar. The article proposes that China and Myanmar should make joint efforts in terms of mainstreaming conflict-sensitive approaches, increasing the confidence of Myanmar’s public in Chinese investment, encouraging responsible investment, and diversifying financing options.

From Issue: Vol. 50 No. 4 (2019) | The Belt and Road Initiative and the SDGs: Towards Equitable, Sustainable Development