Belt and Road.JPG

Bi-annual Conference of Nordic Centre


Belt & Road Initiative, Sustainable Development and Law:

一带一路, 可续发展和法律:

Sino-Nordic Perspectives

Fudan University, Shanghai


OCT 29-30, 2018


Five years ago, China launched its new development strategy, the Belt Road Initiative (BRI). BRI presents a new vision for a broad international cooperation encompassing about 70 countries along two main trading routes: the ancient land-based Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. The undertaking of BRI presents new legal challenges and opportunities for China and the Nordic countries as they look to increase their cooperation in coming decades, especially as it takes place alongside the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It will encounter various interests from the Nordic region, some of them common to all five states, others particular to one or several.

The Nordic countries are becoming involved in the BRI cooperation in a multitude of ways, and regional and global institutions have an effect on the Nordic-China relations under the BRI. The conference shall identify legal challenges, opportunities and solutions related to the BRI through a sustainable development lens in its three inter-related fields: economic development, environmental protection, and social justice. The goal is to explore ways for rule of law-based governance on sustainability in national, regional and global contexts. The dialogue in this conference shall stimulate further understanding and exchange among policy-makers, legislators, legal scholars and practitioners in the Nordic countries and China.

Initiated by the University of Oslo, the 2018 Bi-annual Conference of the Nordic Centre is co-organized with three Nordic institutions (the University of Oslo in Norway, the Lund University in Sweden, and the University of Reykjavik in Iceland) and two Chinese Law Schools, at Fudan University and Tsinghua University. The two-day conference shall focus on issues of BRI in the following four parts within a sustainable development framework: (1) legal and sustainability significance of the BRI; (2) national, regional and global dimensions; (3) specific fields of law and sustainability; and (4) practitioners´ legal perspectives: projects and cases.

The conference language is English. Selected papers of the conference will be published in English.

Time schedule for abstracts and drafts:

May 1st, 2018: Abstracts (500 words)

Sep. 15th, 2018: Draft paper for conference (5,000 to 10,000 words)

Contact persons:


Maria Lundberg

University of Oslo,


Magnus Jorem

Nordic Center,

OCT 29-30, 2018


Monday, October 29


Welcome - Introduction to Conference

Chinese and Nordic Organizers


PART I: Legal and Sustainability Significance of the BRI

This part shall focus on the legal significance and challenges of BRI. The discussion shall clarify the aims, contents and programs of BRI to identify the new legal challenges of international cooperation.

12:00-14:00    Lunch


PART II: National Regional and Global Dimensions

This part shall focus on national legal issues among the five Nordic countries and China arising from the BRI. Regional dimensions, such as the EU, Nordic and the Arctic institutions, meeting the initiation of a New Euro-Asia cooperation of BRI shall be scrutinized. The common legal dimensions of global governance in relation to sustainable development and the BRI shall be presented. Suggested topics includes:

•       Legal challenges of BRI viewed from governance of sustainability

•       China and Nordic countries and climate change under the BRI

•       Arctic governance and the BRI

Tuesday, October 30, 2018


PART III: Specific Fields of Law and Sustainability

The discussion will focus on specific fields linked to Nordic-China cooperation under the BRI within a sustainable development framework. Topics may include: bilateral trade agreement and the BRI; legal gaps of green finance in China and EU; labour law issues in China-Nordic cooperation; OECD´s guidelines for multinational enterprises.

12:00-14:00    Lunch


PART IV: Practitioners’ Legal Perspectives: Projects and Cases

This part shall discuss the legal aspects of ongoing projects and potential cooperation under the BRI. Concrete China-Nordic case studies may include financial cooperation (e.g. Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank), transportation facilities (e.g. railway and harbor), and natural resources development. Legal practitioners and project managers from leading law firms and companies shall bring challenges and solutions in practice for discussion.

16:00 -17:00

Concluding Round Table

This round table discussion aims to summarize the special perspectives and legal challenges of the BRI. Further efforts on bridging the gap between legal research/education and legal services for improving China-Nordic legal cooperation shall be discussed.