While most heads were turned to the East-West transport arteries spearheaded by China’s Belt and Road investments, activity along the lesser known North-South corridors has been slowly gaining momentum. Like their East-West cousins, the North-South routes consist of a bundle of land and sea multimodal corridors and connect South Asia to Northern Europe via the Persian Gulf and the Caspian region. Unlike the China-sponsored Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects, however, the development of the North-South corridors follows a more multilateral and multi-stakeholder approach.
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Major infrastructure projects… can still fail economically in terms of opportunity costs either because of excessive costs or insufficient demand but their political importance can be very significant, even momentous.
A new link in the North-South Transport Corridor connecting Russia, Iran, and India could have far-reaching implications for economic patterns between Europe and Asia.
The real challenge for fighting the illicit drug trade in Central Asia stems less from the supposed risks associated with opening borders or developing transport infrastructure, than from dealing with poverty and corruption.
Reconnecting Asia is tracking developments across a vast landmass that includes 60 percent of the global economy. Every day, new infrastructure projects are announced, some are advanced, and others encounter obstacles. Here is a selection of the top projects we’re watching in 2017.