A total of US$2.5 trillion worth of trade has been promised by China through its new maritime transport initiative which aims to link Asia with Europe and Africa, as well as the countries in between, according to the Journal of Commerce.
Jens Drewes, President of Northern Asia with global logistics company Kuehne-Nagel said: “That’s more than the value of (Chinese) exports in 2013” and added that to pay for the massive initiative, which builds on the government’s effort to shift manufacturing inland from the coast, China has made more than 65 loan commitments since 2013, totalling $50 billion.
John Lin, deputy director of the Policy and Law Research Centre of Shanghai International Shipping, said: “The central government is trying to kill two birds with one stone. The first bird is to raise the commercial and political influence in neighboring countries in Asia, Africa and Europe, and the other bird is to sustain a steady growth of the Chinese economy.”
Lin continued that it’s not certain what the impact on containerised shipping will be, and warned that the government could abandon the strategy even though it’s expected to be a major plank a five-year plan.
The transport initiative was launched in 2013 by Chinese President Xi Jingping in order to combine the Maritime Silk Road developments via ports and roads with the Silk Road Economic Belt.
China has recently suffered from a two hard hits after an economic crash which was felt heaviest domestically, and an explosion at Tianjin Port which took 159 lives, stultified trade and called into question the attention to safety at Chinese terminals.