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The BRI Challenges Our Assumptions of How the World Fits Together 

File image of workers at the construction site of residential construction project in Fiji that's part of China's Belt and Road Initiative. Image via Xinhua.

A fascinating new report emerged from the Green Financing and Development Center at Fudan University in Shanghai this week, tracking trends in China’s Belt and Road investment. The big news is that while global BRI spending (both foreign direct investment and loans) has remained stable at roughly $60 billion, from 2020 to 2021 investments shrank by almost $10 billion and the geographic distribution of the spending shifted significantly.

Europe seems to have plunged into the deep freeze. Even though Serbia posted the second-highest construction volumes of any individual country (more on number one below) overall financing to European BRI signatories fell by an eye-watering 84%.

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