Exploring potential implications of Belt and Road Initiative for supply chain resilience: a comparative study of five South Asian countries
Benchmarking: An International Journal
Article publication date: 1 December 2020
Issue publication date: 23 April 2021
This paper explores the potential opportunities and challenges that Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) may bring for resilient supply chains.
This study employs multiple case study methodology by considering five south Asian countries. Overall, 36 semi-structured interviews with supply chain managers from three supplying firms, two transportation centers and four buying firms are undertaken. Three supplying firms were based in Pakistan, providing cement and steel products. Simultaneously, two transportation centers were located in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, mainly engaged in cargo and freight handling. Finally, the buying firms were located in Mainland China and India, mainly constructing road and rail networks.
Our findings reveal both challenges and opportunities for supply chain resilience within the context of BRI. In particular, findings suggest that BRI can improve quality infrastructure, greater connectivity for logistics firms and enhance consumer markets. Conversely, BRI also poses challenges to supply chain resilience in managing large-scale logistics infrastructure and the potential conflicts between countries participating in BRI.
As this study attempts to build a theory, its result should not be generalized to a broader population. Second, this study only explores BRI's implications for resilient supply chains within five South Asian countries.
Firms can use our study results to understand BRI’s implications for resilient supply chains. Particularly, it presents firms with the potential opportunities and challenges that BRI brings for resilient supply chains.
BRI has been the subject of much research in domains like political science, economics and law but its application to the supply chain resilience is rather scant. Our study, therefore, contributes to the emergent literature on supply chain resilience within the context of BRI by exploring its potential opportunities and challenges.
Butt, A.S. and Shah, S.H.H. (2021), "Exploring potential implications of Belt and Road Initiative for supply chain resilience: a comparative study of five South Asian countries", Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. 28 No. 4, pp. 1335-1355. https://doi.org/10.1108/BIJ-07-2020-0379
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