New Complimentary Guide: Identifying Opportunities Within the Belt & Road Initiative

Posted by

Dezan Shira & Associates, the Asian focused foreign investment practice, have released a guidebook written by Chris Devonshire-Ellis, the practice Chairman and long-term Asia hand. The guide, “Identifying Opportunities Within the Belt & Road Initiative” comprises 142 pages and differs from most other BRI publications by breaking down the legal, tax and financial structures making up the BRI adding in operational pitfalls and costs, together with the latest opportunity developments and case studies.

Putting geostrategic politics to one side, the guide examines and provides practical advice for foreign governments negotiating BRI projects with China from the legal, tax and operational perspective, examines the impact and potential for post-build project participation, examines local investment opportunities because of new infrastructure being put in place, and provides plenty of anecdotal evidence for the BRI as a force for global trade. This is the first book to properly examine how the BRI can be exploited and where opportunities can be found.  

Chris Devonshire-Ellis, the author, is the Chairman of Dezan Shira & Associates, and has 30 years’ experience of assisting foreign investors into China and Asia. Of the 147 countries and territories part of the Belt & Road, he has handled investments from and visited about half of them. He is a regular voice on matters of the BRI and often quoted on the subject in international media. His earlier book on the BRI “China’s New Economic Silk Road” (2016) has been a best seller and was adopted by Cambridge University as required reading in their International Politics & Economics” undergraduate course. Chris is a Visiting Professor at the St. Petersburg Higher School of Economics, and during Covid has been based in Sri Lanka. 

Praise for “Identifying Opportunities Within The Belt & Road Initiative” 

“I wish that this work finds its way on the desks of European industry associations and government cabinets so that they can all better understand how to be part of such an important international project.”

“Having worked on the Belt & Road for a number of years, first as an academic and economic analyst and then as a member of the Italian Government deeply involved in the Initiative, I believe this guide represents one of the most useful and practical handbooks for companies to understand both risks and opportunities when doing business in any of the almost 150 countries involved. Very interestingly, the guide addresses those issues using a two-layer approach: the top level is the BRI per se as it is known, while the second layer discusses the various regional and bilateral trade and investment agreements in place amongst the various countries. In addition to the valuable information on taxes and legal structures, this two-layer analysis is one of the unique characteristics that sets it apart from similar works. While it is important to understand the overall philosophy and geopolitical aspects of the BRI that the guide addresses but does not make this its main focus, at the end of the day, it is individual companies and countries that conduct business in a bilateral fashion, even within the umbrella of the wider scope of the BRI. I want to express my compliments to Chris Devonshire-Ellis and his team, with the wish that his work finds its way on the desks of European industry associations and government cabinets so that they can all better understand how to be part of such an important international project.”  

Michele Geraci is a Professor of Finance and Chinese Economy, University of Nottingham Business School, Ningbo, China.He was a Former Undersecretary of State, Ministry of Economic Development, Government of Italy.Michele was also a managing director-level investment banker with financial institutions in the City of London and internationally.   He is a regular contributor to China Daily and columnist with Caixin Magazine, and frequently appears on international news networks such as CNN, Bloomberg, & Al Jazeera.

“Has raised the bar on coverage of this important topic.” 

“This extremely impressive report stands out for its depth of detail and breadth of coverage of the myriad factors surrounding the Belt and Road initiative. It is essential that financiers have a solid grasp of the tax and legal ramifications of international projects, since raising finance is just the first part of the process. Chris Devonshire-Ellis and Dezan Shira & Associates have raised the bar on coverage of this important topic. This guide will prove highly useful as a guiding light for participants globally.” 

Daniel Widdicombe, Former Head of Investment Banking, China Construction Bank UK

“Informative and practical” 

“China’s capital and technology investments along the BRI bring a profound paradigm shift in global development. It can be the first time post the Industrial Revolution that the developing world has become the early adopters of cutting-edge global technologies. Therefore, it welcomes a first-ever opportunity to narrow the development gap with the developed world because of its technological revolution.  

The broader BRI region may soon integrate further on China’s sovereign digital currency and green development roadmap.  Opportunities abound. The information contained within Chris Devonshire-Ellis’ “Identifying Opportunities Within the Belt & Road Initiative” is both informative and practical.” 

Dr. Shirley Yu, Political economist, Professor, Asia fellow, Harvard Kennedy School;  Author: ‘All Under Huawei: China’s Vision for a Tech-Sinica’  @shirleyzeyu 

“Identifying Opportunities Within the Belt & Road Initiative” is a complimentary download from the Asia Briefing bookstore. For your copy, please click here.

Related Reading


About Us

Silk Road Briefing is written by Dezan Shira & Associates. The firm has 28 offices throughout Asia, and assists foreign investors into the region. For strategic advisory and business intelligence issues please contact the firm at or visit


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *