Energy projects dominate China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), followed by transportation and real estate construction and investment. Eleven percent of the $404 billion in BRI spending so far is classified as “troubled,” meaning those loans are in or near default or the investments have failed. Figures for 2018 are for six months and are preliminary.

Source: Cecilia Joy-Pérez and Derek Scissors, “Be Wary of Spending on the Belt and Road,” American Enterprise Institute, November 2018,

Data for the graphic are as follows:

Sector Construction Amount in Billions of Dollars Investment Amount in Billions of Dollars (includes the acquisition of companies and other assets in BRI countries) Troubled Spending in Billions of Dollars
Energy (alternative, coal, gas, hydro, nuclear, oil) $111.00 $56.40 $26.00
Transportation (autos, aviation, rail, shipping) $74.50 $18.50 $8
Real Estate (construction, property) $30.20 $12.10 $0.70
Utilities $8.70 $1.80 $0.20
Chemicals (potash, phosphates, methanol) $8.40 Figure Not Available $1.90
Metals (iron, bauxite, copper, gold) $7.90 $6.90 $3.60
Agriculture $4.80 $5.20 $0.10
Other (education, textiles, etc.) $7.20 $16.20 $0.40
Technology $1.20 $6.30 $1.10
Entertainment $0.90 $6.70 Figure Not Available
Logistics $0.70 $11.40 Figure Not Available
Finance (banking, investment) Figure Not Available $6.60 $3.40
Total $255.50 $148.00 $45.20

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