China is one of the most important economies in the world that fuels the global trade. Thanks to the particulary economic conditions, like the low cost of materials and labour, China has a central role in global supply chain. It is one of the most preferred country where multinational corporations invest directly or indirectly. Every day a huge number of goods moves from and to China. Its recent economic growth has been having highs followed by stable periods. I think we will see a new expansion wave of this economy soon!
Chinese government is working at a new project called One belt, One Road (OBOR), which has the purpose to support and boost Chinese economy in the next years. The way to reach this goal is based on improving the connections between Asia and Europe in order to make the trade more efficient.
The project has been called the New Silkroad too. Like a modern nostalgic marketing operation this new project remind us to the famous Silkroad which was the main trade route in the ancient times.
It was a totality of 8000 km of roads and sea paths which connected the city of Chang’an (now Xi’an) in the Far East to the Mediterraneum Sea via Middle East. Along this road were been carried principally silk to west, hence the name, and in general all sort of goods. The Road was crossed by people too. It was a main veichle for cultural exchange like religions, fashions and philosophy between East and West.
The Road worked until the end of Mongolian Emprie in 1368. After that date the road was abandoned due to the tension in the area between clan, and the clousure of China to the rest of the world.
In 2013 Xi Jinping, the Prime Minister of People’s Republic of China, announced the program OBOR to the world. This is a remarkable project that today involves 65 countries! As advised the whole program based on the enhancement of the existing logistic assets along the silkroad. This new one is more extended than the old one. It moves up from China including Russia, passing from Europe until Spain. To finance all these interventetions the Chinese government has founded the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Each Country involved has subscribed a share of capital. Italy has subscribed 2.5 M$.
In the first phase of the program the Chinese government created the right field for the bulding up of the second phase. During the first phase the officials have signed 130 agreements to guarantee around 4200 direct flight from China to the partner countries and new 30 rail links. The second phase, which is starting, concerns the investments in logistic assets. Refferring to Italian infrastrucures the Chinese government has committed to investing in the ports of Northen Italy that are the most strategic because they are directly linked to the European TEN-T corrdidors.
That is fascinating me more about OBOR is the size! It is an international project who involves several subjects from different countries. Secondly the Chinese pragmatism that is involved in planning and managing each aspect. Finally this work will have a very important social return. Usually investments in infrastructures have a positive effect on the growth of a country creating new opportunities.