The Silk Superhighway

Five years old, but vindicated, still quite relevant and accurate:

 

Who is China’s largest trading partner?

If you guessed the United States, you’re wrong. It’s the European Union.

If you got the first one right, here is another question: Who are the biggest exporters in the world? First place goes to the European Union. Second goes to China. Third would then go to Germany if it wasn’t already included within the EU. America comes in at a distant fourth place, followed by Japan.

The world has changed. Not long ago, America was both the largest exporter of manufactured goods and the world’s most important economy.

Yes, a shift is occurring—and it is titanic. Today’s global power centers of manufacturing and trade have swung back to Europe and China. The most important and lucrative trade routes are once again between the old world’s East and West. The modern Silk Road is swarming with the new merchants.

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The new ‘silk road’, a rail link from China’s factories to heart of Europe

FRANKFURT: One of the world’s longest railways — a “modern-day silk road” — covers some 11,000 kilometres (24,000 miles) en route from the Chinese megacity of Chongqing to Duisburg, a key commercial hub in western Germany.

On Saturday, as part of his landmark visit to Germany, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited the last stop on the “Yuxinou” rail line, an industrial feat that promises to revolutionise transport between Europe and Asia.

Duisburg is a steel-making town of around half a million on the confluence of the Rhine and Ruhr rivers that boasts the world’s biggest inland port and is one of Germany’s most important transport and commercial hubs.

Despite the vast distances between them, it takes just 16 days for trains to travel to Duisburg from Chongqing, a sprawling metropolitan symbol of rising China with a population of more than 30 million. Continue reading

Turkey, Azerbaijan lead revival of modern Silk Road

Hundreds of high-level political figures, CEOs and international experts from around the world explored the economic, political and strategic potential of the region at the third Caspian Forum in Istanbul. Experts and politicians discussed the latest about the Caspian region, particularly efforts to transport its energy resources to an eager European market. Experts described the Caspian as the centre of trade relations between East and West and as the new centre of energy for the world.

Participants at the December 5th forum also discussed the latest on transportation projects designed to establish a modern Silk Road trade route that would link Asia and Europe. Turkey and Azerbaijan have been at the centre of those efforts. Continue reading