Sharing the Spoils: Winners and Losers in the Belt and Road Initiative in Myanmar

Academic article
International investments  Regional integration  Asia
Written by

Indra Overland

Research Professor, Head of Research group on climate and energy



This article studies the impact of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) on economic actors in Myanmar. It hypothesizes that the BRI has strong transformative potential, because Chinese projects are likely to transform Myanmar’s economy on different scales and influence the allocation of economic benefits and losses for different actors. The study identifies economic actors in Myanmar who are likely to be most affected by BRI projects. It also discusses how BRI-related investments could affect the country’s complex conflict dynamics. The article concludes with policy recommendations for decision makers in Myanmar, China, and the international community for mitigating the BRI’s possible negative impacts. The analysis draws on secondary sources and primary data collection in the form of interviews with key actors in Hsipaw, Lashio, and Yangon, involved with and informed about the BRI in Myanmar at the local, regional, and national levels.