New Silk Road Finance Awards 2017: Best overall project/initiative for BRI
The £2 billion Gemas-Johor Bahru double-tracking rail project
There are few projects that capture the scale and ambition of the Belt and Road more than the 6,617-kilometre-long rail track being built to link Kunming, in China’s Yunnan province, with Singapore. The railway crosses eight countries, connecting 1.65 billion people in the process. It also demonstrates the long time horizon needed to understand the ties along the Silk Road.
The Silk Road goes back more than 2,000 years, to early trading between the Han and central Asian peoples. Although China’s president Xi Jinping gets a lot of credit for resuscitating the notion of the Silk Road in a 2013 speech, in truth the importance of trade and infrastructure links has never gone away.