Numerous entrepreneurs and experts exchanged views in Nuremberg last week at the 2nd Silk Road Congress and discussed new opportunities.
With the new Silk Road, the People's Republic of China wants to expand trade routes between China and the rest of the world and better connect access to new markets.
The Silk Road Initiative, which was launched six years ago, is already working, as Prof. Taube from the University of Duisburg-Essen emphasizes. This would be one of the last truly multilateral projects and could be very much in favor of Europe, especially Germany. This is not just a transport corridor to Duisburg (Duisport) or Nuremberg, but above all an infrastructure project within the countries along the Silk Road, which so far had no real access to the world market. This is precisely where some welfare effects can already be seen, and here the economy of all sectors in Europe could profit.
Dr. Roland Fleck (CEO, Nürnberg Messe): "China's initiative will shape the world economy decisively"
The approximately 250 participants of the Silk Road Congress in Nuremberg were shown new ways and ideas. In consultations, the entrepreneurs were informed about contacts and new opportunities in China. Companies such as Max Bögel and Rödl und Partner report on their many years of experience along the Silk Road.
"China's Belt and Road Initiative will shape the global economy and create many new economic regions, which will benefit European companies," said Roland Fleck, head of Messe Nürnberg.
Win-Win situation is possible: Consul General Zhang Yue
Representatives from politics, trade and industry certainly see realistic opportunities for all involved and not only for the Chinese initiators and investors as long as clear and fair rules are negotiated and common values are pursued.
Here it is also important to know that already about 500000 million € from the European Union are invested in the project, which should also benefit European companies.
The initiative Seidenstrasse is already creating thousands of jobs along the route, notes China's Consul General Mr. Zhang Yue - including in Germany. Altogether, 80 new industrial zones are planned along the Silk Road. For example in Minsk, where an industrial park with a planned size larger than the area of Paris with the beautiful name "Great Stone" is being built.
When the wind of change blows, while some build walls, the others build windmills (Chinese wisdom)
Most of the participants agreed that in the current turn of the century, trade flows have clearly turned from east to west, with opportunities, but also mistrust and doubt, particularly in Europe.
The European Union has given a clear answer to the Silk Road concept with its connectivity strategy, but the project is poorly communicated. In practice, legal certainty, clear agreements and adherence to the procurement policy along the route must be propagated, positive examples and success stories written, and then the investment can be worthwhile for all courageous entrepreneurs.
In a world that limits free trade, at least for the time being, the creation of new markets through infrastructure is more than convenient. No country in the EU will be able to survive on its own, but above all, the European Union should now swiftly determine the conditions unanimously and become and active participant with the Chinese, and not just offer blind financial support.