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New Silk Road more than logistics.

New Silk Road more than logistics.

CROWN New silk road is not just about logistics. It is about global development and great opportunities for Swedish companies, writes Ulf Sandmark.

Published January 31, 2019 in Business in North (http://www.affarerinorr.se/nyheter/2019/januari/190131-kroenika-ulf-sandmark/?fbclid=IwAR3r_3ckj6IGQ6G__mDnPP9KQNFmScXXz5TKnNNfa46EK2C-NPa86A3uEqg )

Last year, Sweden finally joined the new Silk Road with the help of Railgate Sweden and Railgate Norway to Haparanda and Narvik, respectively. The goods go via the railway line Kouvola in southeastern Finland, where it is transhipped to the direct trains to Xian in China. It takes 12-16 days from Sweden to China via this back road through Russia and Kazakhstan. Last year, already 49 cities in 15 EU countries were affiliated with direct train services to and from China. In total, China sent 6,363 freight trains to Europe. This was a traffic increase of 51 per cent since 2017. The potential is enormous because China accounts for as large a share of the world's economic growth as 30 per cent, and the new road routes through Asia open up previously trapped markets. But the opportunities are even bigger because it is not just about logistics.

The New Silk Road was launched as a globally open project by China's President Xi Jinping in 2013. He later called it for the Belt & Road Initiative (in English Belt & Road Initiative - BRI) there " the road "stands for the sea route from China via the Suez Canal to Europe. The country road from China is called the "belt" because it is possible to create a development corridor on land, which, just like the old silk road, can give rise to new towns and cultivation areas in a wide belt along the road.

It is about modern railways, highways, canals, power lines, fiber cables and, above all, new industrial and residential areas. The ambition is to help, in collaboration, to lift forgotten and neglected areas of the world out of poverty. The method is the one that China used to lift its own poverty, which is about the same method that Sweden used earlier, namely infrastructure expansion and industrialization with the most modern technology.

The countries of Africa, Asia and South America are now offered help to build power plants, electrification and their parts of planned transcontinental railways. [You create a country-by-country platform of infrastructure based on increased energy density, which guarantees an increased productivity that can more than pay the investments.] The projects are so large that participation from many countries is required to implement. In a triangular collaboration, Spanish construction companies, together with Chinese companies and the Congolese state, build the enormous dam Inga III in the Congo.

The system of triangular cooperation means that, for example, Swedish companies can participate in projects that would otherwise be too large. Home in Sweden means BRI that the expansion of infrastructure is put into focus, which is needed to say the least, but it will also focus on research and technological development.

When infrastructure and basic industries are expanded on a large scale at the most modern technological level, new leading companies are created, just as when the engineering industry developed in Sweden. Participation in BRI projects, whether they are built in Sweden or abroad, therefore opens doors for both large and small companies to other projects in the world at the forefront of technological development.

It is therefore of paramount importance for Swedish business, labor market and research to Sweden actively increases cooperation with BRI and participates at the highest level in the next summit for Belt & Road, which is held in Beijing in April this year. Ulf Sandmark, Chairman of BRIX-Belt & Road Initiative Executive Group in Sweden.

Ulf Sandmark

Ulf Sandmark

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