Skip to main content
Definition

A formal (written) document that defines the terms and covenants of agreement between stakeholders. Project financing agreements may be between financiers, developers, and contractors. Agreements to contract or subcontract work could involve developers, contractors, and subcontractors. Insurers may negotiate insurance agreements with financiers, developers, contractors, or subcontractors. 

Source(s)

Adapted from Asian Development Bank (ADB), "Project Glossary," accessed in 2022, View the Website.

Definition

Facilities that are not funded as part of a project but are directly and significantly related to the project; carried out, or planned to be carried out, contemporaneously with the project; and necessary for the project to be viable and would not have been constructed, expanded, or conducted if the project did not exist. Examples of associated facilities include railways, roads, captive power plants or transmission lines, pipelines, utilities, warehouses, and logistics terminals.

Source(s)

Adapted from World Bank, "World Bank Environmental and Social Framework," Washington, DC, 2016, View the PDF; International Finance Corporation (IFC), "IFC Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability," 2012, View the PDF.

Definition

A country that hosts at least one BRI project.

Definition

A highly ambitious infrastructure development program, launched by President Xi Jinping in 2013, that would involve more than 140 countries. With an estimated collective value of more than $4 trillion, its projects seek to enhance China’s connectivity through — and win-win cooperation with — Southeast, South, Central, and West Asia; Africa; Europe; and Latin America.

Source(s)

Adapted from Daniel R. Russel and Blake H. Berger, "Navigating the Belt and Road Initiative," Asia Society Policy Institute, 2019, View the PDF; Silk Road Briefing, “China Belt and Road Projects Value Now Exceeds US$4 Trillion,” 2021, View the Website.

Definition

An existing and operational project that is being modified to comply with legal and technological developments or expanded to increase capacity or production.

Source(s)

Adapted from Thomson Reuters Practical Law Canada, "Project Finance, Overview," accessed in 2022, View the Website.

Definition

A project delivery mechanism in which a government entity, such as a host country government, grants to a private sector party, such as a Chinese developer, the right to construct a project according to agreed design specifications and to operate the project for a specified time. This model is typically used to finance, build, and operate large-scale infrastructure projects. The private sector party does not own the project but receives payment from the government entity or the project’s end users. In some cases, the private sector party may provide some of the financing for the project. At the end of the contract period (typically 20 to 40 years), control over project operations is transferred to the government entity.

Source(s)

Adapted from Thomson Reuters Practical Law, “Public Private Partnerships: Issues and Considerations,” accessed in 2022, View the Website; Adam Hayes, "Build-Operate-Transfer Contract," Investopedia, 2020, View the Website.

Definition

A project delivery mechanism in which a government entity, such as a host country government, sells to a private sector party, such as a Chinese developer, the right to construct a project according to agreed design specifications and to operate the project for a specified time. Unlike Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) or Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) contracts, the private sector party owns the project and does not have to transfer it to the government entity at the end of the term.

Source(s)

Adapted from Thomson Reuters Practical Law, “Public Private Partnerships: Issues and Considerations,” accessed in 2022, View the Website.

Definition

A project delivery mechanism in which a government entity, such as a host country government, grants to a private sector party, such as a Chinese developer, the right to finance, design, construct, own, and operate a project for a specified number of years. This structure is very similar to the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) structure, but the private sector party owns the asset during the term of the agreement. BOOT contracts are often used to build power stations, water treatment facilities, and sewage facilities.

Source(s)

Adapted from Thomson Reuters Practical Law, “Public Private Partnerships: Issues and Considerations,” accessed in 2022, View the Website.

Definition

The state of connections between villages, towns, cities, districts, provinces, countries, and regions. Both “hard connectivity” — through infrastructure — and “soft connectivity” — through rules and standards — are currently dual priorities of the Chinese Government, which now seeks to reduce poverty, generate employment opportunities, build capacity, and “connect the hearts” of people along the BRI.

Source(s)

Adapted from Government of China, "高质量共建“一带一路”成绩斐然 (High-Quality Joint Construction of the 'Belt and Road' has Achieved Remarkable Results)," 2022, View the Website.

Definition

A group made up of two or more companies that work together to achieve a common objective. Participating entities pool their resources but are only responsible for the obligations that are set out in their agreement. Each entity under a consortium still maintains independent business operations and has no say over another member’s operations that are unrelated to the consortium.

Source(s)

Adapted from Will Kenton, "Consortium," Investopedia, 2021, View the Website.

Definition

A company that undertakes a contract to provide materials or labor to build a project or a component of a project. This company may outsource some of its obligations or tasks to a subcontractor. See Chinese Developers, Contractors, and Subcontractors for more information about their possible roles and responsibilities in BRI projects.

Definition

A strategic management concept whereby companies and financial institutions integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and interactions with their stakeholders. Companies and financial institutions will try to balance economic, environmental, and social imperatives, while addressing the expectations of their shareholders and stakeholders. CSR goes beyond charity, though both types of activities can contribute to poverty reduction, enhance a company's or an institution’s reputation, and strengthen its brand.

It is also a goal of Chinese companies engaged in overseas infrastructure projects to safeguard stakeholders’ rights and interests, promote community living standards and sustainability, boost local employment, mitigate adverse social impacts of their projects, strengthen the preservation of cultural heritage and natural scenery, enhance quality management, and shoulder their due responsibilities to stakeholders for the sake of harmonious coexistence and co-development.

Source(s)

Adapted from United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), "What is CSR," accessed in 2022, View the Website; China International Contractors Association (CHINCA), "Sustainable Infrastructure Guidelines for Overseas Chinese Enterprises," 2016, View the PDF.

Definition

A project delivery structure in which a private sector party, such as a Chinese developer, is awarded a contract to design, construct, finance, and operate a capital project. In consideration for performing its obligations under the agreement, the private sector party may receive availability payments from a government entity, such as the host country government, or collect fees from the project’s end users. The government entity retains ownership of the project.

Source(s)

Adapted from Thomson Reuters Practical Law, “Public Private Partnerships: Issues and Considerations,” accessed in 2022, View the Website.

Definition

A project delivery mechanism that a government entity, such as a host country government, may use to structure the construction of infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, and airports. Through an agreement, a government entity can allocate all of the project’s duties to a private sector party, such as a Chinese developer. In exchange for designing, constructing, financing, operating, and maintaining a project, the private sector party is entitled to receive, for a specified period, fees from the project’s end users or payments from the government in the form of availability payments. At the end of that period, operating control is transferred back to the government entity.

Source(s)

Adapted from Thomson Reuters Practical Law, “Public Private Partnerships: Issues and Considerations,” accessed in 2022, View the Website.

Definition

Improvement of the quality of life, opportunities, and well-being of the affected people, in particular, and in BRI host countries, more broadly. It can happen at the community level, with the construction of new water and sanitation facilities, or at the country level, with the development of a new renewable energy power generation unit.

Source(s)

Adapted from Bridges Across Borders, "A Cambodian Guide to Defending Land and Housing Rights Vol 1, Part 1," 2009, View the PDF.

Definition

Includes both direct control for operators or other major shareholders of a project and indirect control, including when a subsidiary operates the project.

Source(s)

Adapted from Equator Principles Association (EPA), "The Equator Principles 4," 2020, View the PDF.

Definition

A form of building contract used for a large or otherwise complex project under which the builder, known as the EPC contractor, will deliver a completed project that is ready for immediate use by the developer. EPC contractors are obligated to fulfill requirements set forth by the developer and to complete the project for a guaranteed price and by a predetermined date. 

Source(s)

Adapted from Thomson Reuters Practical Law, "EPC contract," accessed in 2022, View the Website.

Definition

Encompasses the institutions, policies, norms, procedures, and initiatives that governments and their citizens use to bring more predictability, stability, and order to their responses to transnational challenges.

Source(s)

Adapted from United Nations (UN), "Global Governance and Global rules for Development in the Post-2015 Era," 2014, View the PDF.

Definition

A project or land that has not been developed and has no existing assets or operations.

Source(s)

Adapted from Thomson Reuters Practical Law Canada, "Project Finance, Overview," accessed in 2022, View the Website.

Definition

An arrangement in which two or more companies agree to pool their resources for a new project or other business activities. Each participant is responsible for profits, losses, and costs associated with the JV. But the venture is a separate entity that remains distinct from participants’ other business interests and operations.

Source(s)

Adapted from Marshall Hargrave, "Joint Venture (JV)," Investopedia, 2021, View the Website.

Definition

Government aid that promotes and specifically targets the economic development and welfare of developing countries.

Source(s)

Adapted from Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), “Official Development Assistance (ODA) - OECD,” accessed in 2022, View the Website.

Definition

Those suppliers that directly provide the goods or materials essential to the core functions of a project on an ongoing basis.

Source(s)

Adapted from World Bank, "World Bank Environmental and Social Framework," Washington, DC, 2016, View the PDF.

Definition

A development in any sector at an identified location, which could cover one or more geographic areas. It includes an expansion or upgrade of an existing operation. Examples of projects include, but are not limited to, an airport, highway, hydropower plant, port, railway, and tunnel.

Definition

The area likely to be affected by a proposed project, including its ancillary aspects, such as power transmission corridors, pipelines, canals, tunnels, relocation and access roads, borrow and disposal areas, and construction camps, as well as by unplanned developments induced by the project, such as spontaneous settlement, logging, or shifting agriculture along access roads. For a larger and more complex infrastructure project, this area of influence may include people, land, and bodies of water that are in proximity to or even far from the proposed project sites. For example, the area of influence may include the watershed within which the project is located; any affected estuary and coastal zone; off-site areas required for resettlement or compensatory tracts; the airshed (e.g., where airborne pollution such as smoke or dust may enter or leave the area); migratory routes of humans, wildlife, or fish, particularly where they relate to public health, economic activities, or environmental conservation; and areas used for livelihood activities (e.g., hunting, fishing, grazing, gathering, and agriculture) or religious or ceremonial purposes of a customary nature.

Source(s)

Adapted from Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), "Environmental and Social Framework," 2021, View the PDF; Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), "Enhancing AIIB's Accountability: The Project-Affected People's Mechanism," 2018, View the PDF; World Bank, “Ext Opmanual - OP 4.01, Annex A - Definitions,” 1999, View the Website.

Definition

The overall process of developing and executing a project. It can be divided into three main phases: pre-project planning, project implementation, and project operations. It can range from a year for simple projects to several decades for larger, highly complex projects that require routine maintenance and day-to-day operations. See Step-by-Step Timeline for an illustration of how stakeholder engagement and environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) should be undertaken throughout the project life cycle. 

Definition

An entity that has primary responsibility for a project.

Definition

A company that is contracted to perform part or all of another company’s contract for a project. See Chinese Developers, Contractors, and Subcontractors for more information about their possible roles and responsibilities in BRI projects.

Definition

A paradigm for thinking about the future in which environmental, societal, and economic considerations are balanced in the pursuit of an improved quality of life.

The Chinese Government conceives of sustainability as harmony between society and the environment that drives economic, environmental, and social outcomes; involves green development; and benefits both present and future generations.

Source(s)

Adapted from United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), “Education for Sustainable Development | UNESCO,” accessed in 2022, View the Website; Chen Liu et al., “A Chinese Route to Sustainability: Postsocialist Transitions and the Construction of Ecological Civilization,” Sustainable Development 26, no. 6 (2018): 741–48.

Definition

Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It refers to the many processes and pathways to achieve sustainability. It has four intertwined dimensions: society, environment, culture, and economy — which are interrelated, not separate. 

Source(s)

Adapted from United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), “Education for Sustainable Development | UNESCO,” accessed in 2022, View the Website.

Definition

Adopted by the United Nations (UN) in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity. The 17 goals, which can be found here, cover three dimensions of sustainability: social, economic, and environmental.

Source(s)

Adapted from United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), “Sustainable Development Goals | United Nations Development Programme,” 2016, View the Website.

Definition

The transfer, adaptation, mobilization, and utilization of services, skills, knowledge, technology, and engineering to build host country capacity on a sustainable basis.

Source(s)

Adapted from World Bank, “Operational Manual - OP 8.40,” 1994, View the Website.

Definition

Considers whether the proposed measures and actions can be implemented with commercially available skills, equipment, and materials. It accounts for prevailing local factors such as climate, geography, demography, infrastructure, security, governance, capacity, and operational reliability.

Source(s)

Adapted from World Bank, "World Bank Environmental and Social Framework," Washington, DC, 2016, View the PDF; Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), "Environmental and Social Framework," 2021, View the PDF.

Definition

The process through which a government invites bids for a project. For each bid, a document with specific information on requirements and terms associated with a potential contract must be submitted within a definite timeline.

Source(s)

Adapted from Organisation for Economic and Co-operation Development (OECD), "Public Procurement Toolbox," accessed in 2022, View the Website.

Definition

A core concept of the Chinese Government. While recognizing diverse paths of development across host countries, it prioritizes “mutually beneficial” cooperation on the basis of shared or common interests. 

Source(s)

Adapted from Marina Rudyak, "Cooperation," Decoding China, accessed in 2022, View the Website.