Sustainable Green Growth in Developing Economies: An Empirical Analysis on the Belt and Road Countries

Sustainable Green Growth in Developing Economies: An Empirical Analysis on the Belt and Road Countries

Ruoyu He (Beijing Institute of Graphic Communication, China), Tomas Baležentis (Lithuanian Centre for Social Sciences, Lithuania), Dalia Štreimikienė (Lithuanian Centre for Social Sciences, Lithuania) and Zhiyang Shen (Beijing Institute of Technology, China)
Copyright: © 2022 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/JGIM.20221101.oa1
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Abstract

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) initiated by Chinese government could be regarded as a systematic framework for promoting economic cooperation and development among the countries along the Belt and Road and China. This paper attempts to analyze economic and environmental performance in 61 developing countries along Belt and Road. An additive total factor productivity growth measure allows aggregating contributions of individual countries along the BRI to construct a reasonable measure. Both desirable and undesirable outputs are considered. The growth in the total factor productivity is decomposed with respect to the economic and environmental contributions. The annual average growth rate of green productivity is 3.1% and the disparity of economic and environmental performance could be observed among countries. Some countries show robust economic growths while environmental performance slows down green growth. This indicates that developing economies should pay attention to environmental impacts and promote sustainable development by sharing emission reduction technologies.
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1. Introduction

Since the 20th century, driven by the revolution in both science and technology, the population and economy in countries the world over have increased rapidly. The excessive exploitation and use of natural resources have led to over-consumption of energy and deterioration of the environment. The emission of greenhouse gases threatens the living space of all humanity. In order to alleviate the impact of global climate change and achieve sustainable development, countries around the world are attaching more importance to green development. Under the background of energy shortage, the government of China has brought up the Belt and Road Initiative to strengthen cooperation among countries and promote global energy security and sustainable economic development. In 2015, the Chinese government issued Vision and Proposed Actions Outlined on Jointly Building Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road, and this has provided an effective platform for countries along the route of the initiative to achieve in-depth cooperation. In 2017, the Chinese government had put forward Vision and Actions on Jointly Building Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road. In 2018, Action Plan for Harmonization of Standards for Jointly Building the Belt and Road (2018-2020) was issued. The last two documents provided an opportunity for countries along the route of the initiative to realize in-depth cooperation and precisely match energy resources at a strategic level, and pointed out the direction of energy cooperation among countries along the route of the initiative. In October 2018, China and 17 countries jointly issued the Joint Declaration on the Establishment of the Belt and Road Initiative Energy Partnership, this further strengthened the energy cooperation between China and countries along the route of the initiative. (Hu et al., 2020). The energy cooperation among countries is beneficial to promote resource exchange, break down energy barriers, optimize energy structure and gradually improve green factor productivity in general (Liu and Yin, 2019).

Against such a backdrop, the Belt and Road Initiative has received responses from more than 100 countries, and 61 countries have signed cooperation agreement with China. The founding of the initiative is beneficial to the coordinated development between China and countries along the route of the initiative, since it extends from China's border areas to Asia-Pacific and central Europe. Thus, the initiative is not only conducive to promoting in-depth cooperation between China and other regions but also to competitiveness and world influence of the enterprises in various countries, thereby reconstructing the relationship between world industries from the perspective of global industrial chain system (Rivera et al., 2019).

The countries participating in the initiative are mainly developing countries, different from the developed ones in terms of productivity, employment structure, utilization of resources and level of science and technology. Developing countries mainly have extensive economy, as well as high consumption of human resources and energy and great environmental pollution. With the gradual decrease of dividends in labor and natural resources, it has become a new direction for developing countries to upgrade science and technology and carry out green and sustainable economic development (Julia et al., 2020).

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