Priority analysis of port investment along the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road region: the case of Southeast Asia

Jianfeng Zheng, Lingxiao Yang, Wei Li, Xiaowen Fu, Daqing Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Most of the Southeast Asian countries are developing economies that have large demand for maritime infrastructures. Some but not all the ports in this region could significantly benefit from and contribute to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) proposed by the Chinese government. This paper models the port investment priority in the Southeast Asian region, so that efficient and sustainable investments can be made under the BRI. Based on the link prediction theory, a random walk method is proposed to assess the priorities of port construction projects at different sites. The proposed method explicitly considers important economic and political factors, especially those linking Southeast Asian countries with China. Our model is calibrated and verified with numerical experiments, so that policy and managerial recommendations can be obtained for this region. Results consistent with industry reality also provide supports to the validity of the model. This study introduces a new dimension of investment planning for multiple ports taking into account the resultant impacts on shipping networks, and recommends selected port construction sites with good potential in Southeast Asia.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMaritime Policy and Management
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2021


  • Maritime Silk Road
  • port investment
  • random walk
  • Southeast Asia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Transportation
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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