The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is an economic framework developed to increase connectivity between China and partner countries, based on the ancient Silk Road land and maritime routes. The BRI aims to link different regions through infrastructure construction, transport and economic corridors and by bridging China with the rest of the world both physically, financially, digitally and socially.

UNDP positioned from early on to have a state-level and strategic partnership on the BRI. UNDP was the first international organization to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (September 2016), and then a concrete Action Plan (May 2017) as a framework for cooperation. On April 2018, the first high-level meeting of the UNDP-China Joint Working Group on BRI was held with an update list of projects that will be recognized as deliverables of the UNDP-Government of China cooperation and presented officially at the Belt and Road Forum in 2019.

UNDP has anchored the strategic partnership with China with the leading group on BRI, including the National Development Reform Commission (NDRC), Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), China Development Bank (CDB) and China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA). UNDP China also engages with other key government entities, financial institutions, private sector, think tanks, media and social organizations.

Global network and partnership building is deeply embedded in UNDP’s BRI engagement. Led by the China CO, UNDP has established a global coordination network of offices and bureaux, and engages the BRI through a multi-pillar approach mainly around the following four areas:


UNDP Engagement on BRI

Latest Speech

Secretary-General’s remarks at the opening of the Belt and Road Forum

" The world today is at a critical juncture. We face both unprecedented challenges and unique opportunities, with the potential for widely contrasting futures."

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Tegegnework Gettu: Official launch of the third Global Governance Report, The Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation

"This report explores the implications of the Belt and Road Initiative for sustainable development of partner countries, its modalities, and synergies with the existing global governance system, and provided suggestions for further action. "

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UNDP Engagement


New York – UNDP and the People’s Republic of China signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) on the margins of the 71st United Nations General Assembly during Premier Li Keqiang’s visit.

UNDP-CH-SDG and BRI with caption

Beijing – UNDP and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) have strengthened ties for cooperation on sustainable development with the signing of an Action Plan for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The signing took place during the first official Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation organized by the Chinese Government on 14-15 May, in Beijing.



UNDP and China Development Bank formed strategic partnership to support sustainable development along the Belt and Road. Read >

UNDP supported the exchange of experience of developing countries and facilitated dialogue on how China’s low-carbon solutions and development financing may benefit countries along the Belt and Road. Read >

The 2018 High Level Policy Forum on Global Governance (part of the Global Governance Initiative) facilitated tangible exchanges, and created a strong network and forward-looking consensus on sustainable finance and investments along the Belt and Road. Read >

The workshop aimed to facilitate knowledge exchange providing developing countries a platform to draw expertise and technology from China’s experience in disaster recovery.Read >

Policy Support and Evidence-based Research

A New Means to Transformative Global Governance Towards Sustainable Development 

UNDP-CH-GGR2017 cover

2017 Global Governance Report

This third Global Governance Report is dedicated to the potential contribution of the BRI to a sustainable development-centered global governance agenda. This is critical because while regional and global economic governance is progressing incrementally, it is doing so in a fragmented way. Read More

Supporting the Belt and Road Regions to Achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

UNDP-CH-SBA 2017 report cover

2017 Report on the Sustainable Development of Chinese Enterprises Overseas

The 2017 Report on the Sustainable Development of Chinese Enterprises Overseas provides concrete analysis on the critical role of Chinese enterprises operating in the Belt and Road regions in supporting the host countries to realize the 2030 Agenda. Read More


Enhancing Economic Development and the SDGs along the Belt and Road 2017  


The Economic Development along the Belt and Road 2017

This report addresses the need for a framework to analyse BRI’s complexity. It suggests that with a shared vision, the BRI can create a viable model for long-term, sustainable economic growth, as long as the Sustainable Development Goals are given a central role in the BRI’s quest for economic prosperity. Read More



UNDP gives a shot in the arm to Belt and Road

By Nicholas Rosellini-Our world is still facing major challenges. While great strides have been made in reducing extreme poverty, social progress and environmental sustainability are threatened by rising inequality and climate change.

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Harnessing the Belt and Road Initiative as a Platform for Sustainable Development: Opportunities and Challenges

By Nicholas Rosellini- The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) represents a move away from standard development models that emphasize policy and institutional issues towards a more investment-driven approach focusing on infrastructure, trade and jobs creation.

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International Cooperation for The Belt and Road Initiative

By Xu Haoliang- The Chinese government outlined five key areas of cooperation and implementation plans on building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. 

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