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Financing the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI): research agendas beyond the “debt-trap” discourse

Lai, Karen P. Y. and Lin, Shaun and Sidaway, James D. (2020) 'Financing the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI): research agendas beyond the “debt-trap” discourse.', Eurasian Geography and Economics, 61 (2). pp. 109-124.


By way of introduction to the four papers that follow, we chart some key parameters of debate about finance and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). In particular, we argue that the rise of discourses about “predatory lending” and “debt trap” (that feature in much commentary and reportage about BRI) merits critique and contextualization. The financing needs of BRI also raise important implications for the geography of financial markets and business services in Asia and other key locations in global financial networks. The networked nature of financial centers and the vital role of advanced business services bring into view actors, sites and spaces (such as law firms and offshore centers) that have been neglected by the geopolitical lenses most often applied to analyze BRI.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0.
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Publisher statement:This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Eurasian Geography and Economics on 17 February 2020, available online:
Date accepted:04 February 2020
Date deposited:10 September 2021
Date of first online publication:17 February 2020
Date first made open access:10 September 2021

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