China’s spending on energy projects associated with its famous Belt and Road Initiative dropped 28% in 2017 to a total of $14.3 billion from $19.9 billion the previous year, according to data released on Monday by Boston University’s Global Development Policy Centre.
Since 2001, China has invested around $128 billion in energy project in what are now considered Belt and Road countries, according to financial data collected from the China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China. Recent examples of such energy projects include coal-power stations in Pakistan, gas pipelines in Malaysia and an oil terminal in Bangladesh.
The dip in spending is consistent with the Chinese government’s tightening last year of capital outflows, such as that practiced by major companies HNA Group Co. and Anbang through rapid overseas expansion.
“In late 2016 and early 2017 China suffered a rush of capital outflows due to a mix of premature capital account liberalisation and external conditions,” Kevin Gallagher, professor of Global Development Policy at Boston University, told Bloomberg, “This led to some fairly tight restriction on capital flows that slowed things down a bit across the board.”