The Hidden Risks of International Capital Flows
In 2013 at Kazakhstan's Nazarbayev University, Chinese president Xi Jinping outlined the start of the Belt and Road Initiative, one of the most ambitious infrastructure and investment initiatives in history. As the world has become more interconnected, international capital flows have become an integral economic link between Asian nations. While the Belt and Road Initiative represents the most prominent of these initiatives, it is only part of the wider picture of Asia-Pacific intra-regional capital flows.
Although foreign investments and loans have spurred productivity growth and fostered vital connections between Asian countries, there remain many risks that are associated with deepening economic connections among countries. For instance, 23 out of the 68 countries with projects linked to the Belt and Road Initiative are at risk of debt distress, while high external debt levels of Southeast Asian countries are leading to fears of a debt crisis. Questions this panel will address include what are the economic, cultural, and technological barriers to increased foreign investment? How do ongoing political and trade tensions shape the landscape of investments? How should governments address the major challenges associated with capital flows?