Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group is planning to leverage China’s Belt and Road initiative to help the country’s SMEs boost levels of international trade, according to reports in China Daily this week, with CEO Jack Ma urging policy makers and business leaders to create new rules and laws to strengthen trade and development.
“We have plans (more…)
China is expected to suffer a rare setback in its drive to develop its $4trn One Belt One Road global trading, transport and logistics network this week during Premier Li Keqian’s visit to Canberra, with an unnamed Australian officials predicting that Australia will rejected Beijing’s request for its $3.8bn Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility infrastructure fund to be formally aligned with the New Silk Road strategy . The rebuff comes amid concerns that such a move could damage relations with the US at a time when Australia is pressing Washington to bolster its presence in the region and taking a tougher line on inward investment from China.
Last year, the Canberra government blocked two potential Chinese acquisitions – bids in excess of $7.6bn for the Ausgrid electricity company due to be submitted by the State Grid Corporation and the Hong-Kong-based Cheung Kong Infrastructure company; and attempts by a Chinese consortium to purchase the S Kidman & Co cattle farm that stretches across more than 1% of Australia’s land mass.
The debate over whether Australia should align its state infrastructure fund with One Belt One Road follows on from Canberra’s hesitation over joining the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). In 2014, Australia initially decided not to join following lobbying by the US and Japan, but eventually relented after the UK and several other western nations broke ranks and signed up.
China’s plans to build a 350km, $2.89m high-speed railway between Belgrade and Budapest are under investigation by the authorities in Brussels on the grounds that they may fall foul of EU laws which stipulate that transport projects of this magnitude should be put out to public tender.
An MoU (more…)
A crowd of politicians, journalists and local residents – some dressed up as Chinese dragons – turned up at the Barking Intermodal Terminal in east London yesterday to welcome and watch as the the first ever freight train to come direct from China to the UK arrived, carrying approximately £4m worth of socks, cloth, bags, and household goods.
The Malaysian government is looking for investors to back its plans to develop a giant new deep-sea port and industrial city at Carey Island, some 70km south west of Kuala Lumpur on the Strait of Malacca, one of the world’s busiest shipping channel – and one which is central to China’s ambitions to develop the Maritime Silk Route Economic Belt.
The port itself (more…)
New Silk Road: London is set to become the latest and 15th European city to feel the impact of Chinese plans to create a 21st-century equivalent of the ancient Silk Road trade route later this month after the China Railway Corporation announced that it had launched the first direct rail freight service to the UK’s capital from Yiwu West Railway Station in Zhejiang Province. Carrying (more…)Read More»
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor: Pakistani’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and China’s Ambassador to Pakistan Sun Weeding joined other senior officials from both countries this week at the Arabian Sea port of Gwadar to watch as the first containers full of Chinese goods arrived for loading onto two ships – also Chinese – for export by way of the nascent China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The trade convoy (more…)voanews Read More»
Silk Road investment: Chinese companies invested nearly US$15bn in countries along the new Silk Road last year, 20% more than in 2014, President Xi Jinping told a special session of Uzbekistan’s parliament yesterday. Trade between China and participating countries topped the $1trn mark in 2015, he added, and (more…)AKIpress Read More»
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Uzbek President Islam Karimov this week used a video link to watch the official opening of the Qamchiq railway tunnel, a key link in the Angre-Pap line connecting the Uzbek capital of Tashkent with Namangan. The tunnel, which runs (more…)Times of Central Asia Read More»
CAREC motorway: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) yesterday agreed to lend Pakistan $100m to complete the remaining 64km section of the M4 motorway linking the towns of Shorkot and Khanewal in the province of Punjab, giving it the distinction of being the first project to be co-financed by the ADB and the newly established Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
Pakistan’s Secretary for Economic Affairs Tariq Bajwa and ADB Country Director for Pakistan Werner E. Liepach signed the loan agreement during a ceremony which was also attended by Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar and ADB Vice President Wencai Zhang.
“Pakistan must grasp the opportunities presented by its strategic location. Investments in transport and connectivity under the framework of Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) programmes, as well as other regional cooperation initiatives,” ADB Vice President Wencai Zhang at the signing.
The project marks ADB’s first co-financing agreement with the AIIB which is expected to approve the $100m at a board meeting later this month. The United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) has also committed a $34m grant for the project. ADB will administer both the AIIB loan and the DFID grant. The project is part of the 1,800 km CAREC transport corridor linking the port city of Karachi in the south, to country’s inland urban centres and onward to Afghanistan and the Central Asia countries.