This paper examines the potential for synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative and ASEAN.

The Belt and Road Initiative and ASEAN Bruno Jetin

“One Belt-One Road Initiative” and ASEAN Connectivity: Synergy Issues and Potentialities

Bruno Jetin

Working Paper No. 30 
Institute of Asian Studies, Universiti Brunei Darussalam
Gadong 2018


The “One Belt-One Road” (OBOR) strategy was launched in September 2013 by President Xi Jinping in Kazakhstan as regards the mainland area and in October 2013 in Indonesia as regards the maritime area. This is by far the largest project of interconnection between Asia, Europe and Africa that will last for decades, entail vast amounts of resources and involve a large multilateral collaboration. This Chinese initiative is potentially a good news for ASEAN which has huge infrastructure investments needs to implement its master plan for connectivity (AMPC). But this will depend on the capacity of ASEAN to maintain its centrality and speak with one voice to China when investment decisions will be taken. Otherwise, the risk is that the OBOR strategy may deepen existing divides between mainland ASEAN and maritime ASEAN, while the purpose of the AMPC is precisely to alleviate them. This paper will analyse these issues and explore the solutions to achieve a synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative and ASEAN.


the Belt and Road Initiative and ASEAN, infrastructure development, OBOR, ASEAN, South China Sea, connectivity, inequality


Bruno Jetin is Associate Professor at the Institute of Asian Studies, UBD. Prior to joining UBB, he was researcher at the Institute for Research on Contemporary Southeast Asia (IRASEC, CNRS-MAEE, Bangkok) and Associate Professor at the University of Paris 13 Sorbonne Paris Cité where he was Deputy Director of the Research Center in Economics. He holds a PhD in economics from the University of Paris 13 Sorbonne Paris Cité. Beyond the topic of the Belt Road Initiative and ASEAN, Dr. Jetin’s current work focuses on income distribution, growth, poverty and inequality, and wellbeing in East and Southeast Asia. He is also an expert of the automobile industry. He has published many articles and chapter books for instance: B. Jetin and M. Mikic (editors), ASEAN Economic Community: A Model for Asia-wide Integration? (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016); B. Jetin (editor) Global Automobile Demand. Vol.1: Major Trends in Mature Economies and Vol. 2: Major Trends in Emerging Economies (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015); B. Jetin and O. Ekin Kurt (2016). “Functional Income Distribution and Growth in Thailand: A Post Keynesian Econometric Analysis,” Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, vol. 39, no. 3, p 334-360; and B. Jetin, “Distribution of Income, Labour Productivity and Competitiveness: Is the Thai Labour Regime Sustainable?” Cambridge Journal of Economics, 2012, vol. 36, 4.

For more information about Dr. Bruno Jetin, please visit his IAS staff page.

Editorial Board of the Working Paper Series

Professor Lian Kwen Fee, Institute of Asian Studies, Universiti Brunei Darussalam.

Dr. F. Merlin Franco, Institute of Asian Studies, Universiti Brunei Darussalam.

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