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Silk Road Development Weekly

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The very latest in global analysis, strategy and regional developments.

Analysis & Strategy

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China, Pakistan Bypass India as CPEC Digital Routes are Developed

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The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor  (CPEC) is a major transportation link between far western Xinjiang Province in China and the port of Gwadar in south-western Pakistan. It has been part of the bilateral agenda for both countries for a number of years now, and is considered by China to be a key element of its Belt & Road Initiative. Much of the analysis of CPEC has seen it as primarily a means for China to gain access to an Indian Ocean port at Gwadar, but recent plans reveal that the CPEC agreement also includes an agreement for China to lease thousands of acres of agricultural land, and to install a full system of monitoring and surveillance in cities from Peshawar to Karachi, with 24-hour video recordings on roads and busy marketplaces for law and order purposes.
CPEC’s main objector, however, is Delhi, who contests that part of the corridor runs through disputed territory belonging to India, and not Pakistan. This continues to be a main factor of disunity in China-India relations. The two sides also continue to share two further major border area disputes.

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Silk Road Development Weekly

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Opinion & Analysis

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Silk Road Development Weekly

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ANALYSIS & OPINION

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German OBOR Freight Capacity Problems Allows Finland to Play Role in China-EU Rail Freight

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Capacity problems between Malaszewicze and Brest for trains traveling between China and the EU have meant that an urgent rescheduling of trains on the German network is required, with problems expected to last until 2020. Finland’s Kouvola rail hub is about to step in and take advantage, said Finnish Government officials at the Railgate Forum in Kouvola yesterday, with a weekly service expected to start from early November. Trains will pass through the customs regimes of China, Eurasian Economic Union, and then into the European Union, with return journeys also being made.

Officials stated that 70 percent of the goods arriving from China will be destined for markets elsewhere in Scandinavia as well as southwards to the Baltics and markets in Poland and Germany.

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Silk Road Development Weekly

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TRADE & INVESTMENT

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Who is Financing the New Economic Silk Road?

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While the Belt & Road has become synonymous with China, fundamentally defining projects China has a vested interest in, the development of the new economic Silk Road overall includes much more than Chinese involvement (which is why this website refers to the Silk Road). While China generates much of the media’s attention, many other multilateral and national funds are also investing in the project. Some have been doing so for years, and may be somewhat perplexed by suddenly being described as “funding a B&R project”. Others have been specifically created to deal with particular regions and trade blocs. In fact, all countries involved in China’s Belt & Road will in one way or another have part of their own sovereign wealth involved, and especially when it comes to supporting their local industries and business interests. Further drilling down is required to establish the nature of such national project finance. Meanwhile, Chinese institutions are being re-targeted at Belt & Road financing and fund raising.

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Moody’s Rates Belt and Road Initiative “Overall Credit Positive” but Warns China Of Risks

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Moody’s Investors Service has issued a report stating that China’s Belt and Road initiative (BRI)  which aims to strengthen linkages between it and a host of countries in Eurasia and beyond  will benefit its own economy and corporate businesses, but will also pose challenges in how risk will be allocated between participating Chinese entities and the participating sovereign nations.

Moody’s also warns that officials face significant logistical and fiscal challenges due to the significant credit risks in doing business with some of the country’s partners eager to sign up to the infrastructure-targeted plans, many of which have poor credit profiles. Among the participating countries, Moody’s estimates less than 40 percent would be considered as having relatively “high financial strength”.

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Silk Road Development Weekly

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The latest in global Belt & Road analysis, finance and infrastructure developments

Academic Analysis

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Chennai to Vladivostok as India Russia Maritime, Overland Routes Develop

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The investment relationship between India and Russia is developing with two Indian ports eyeing trade opportunities at either end of Russia. Both New Delhi and Moscow are looking at creating a key maritime route connecting India with North East Asia and the Western Pacific region via a direct shipping link between Chennai and Vladivostok.

Another planned, mainly overland route extends from shipping originating in Mumbai through to Iran’s Chabahar Port, and overland to European Russia.

The shipping route concept comes following Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Vladivostok last week to attend the Eastern Economic Forum.  India, like China, is looking to expand its presence in Russia’s Far East to harness natural resources there, among them oil and gas supplies as well as diamonds.

India has for centuries been a supplier and center for diamond processing, while the Russian Far East boasts the world’s largest reserves. The Eurasian Diamond Centre opened last month in Vladiviostok; Indian investors have been some of the first to acknowledge the opportunities.

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Meet the firm behind our content. Dezan Shira & Associates have been servicing foreign investors in China, India and the ASEAN region since 1992. Click here to visit their professional services website and discover how they can help your business succeed in Asia.

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