Nippon Express, one of the five largest logistics companies in the world, inaugurated its first journey from China to Europe on December 20, 2018. This first freight train is expected to connect Xian in China to Duisburg in Germany in just 18 days.
In early April, two European heads of state spoke about the BRI. When visiting China, top leaders from Austria and the Netherlands expressed their willingness to develop relations with Beijing and showed interests in the BRI.
Siemens, the German high tech giant has decided to join the BRI. In late March 2018, Siemens opened a special office dedicated to the “Belt and Road initiative” in Beijing.
From this office will be organized all BRI projects in which Siemens participates, whether in China or in the other states along the new Silk Road.
European companies show strong willingness to participate in the BRI; it is now up to European governments to support this trend and promote trade between Europe and Asia.
A new route through Caucasus may be added to the various corridors of the Belt and Road initiative. In April 2017, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Georgia signed a protocol on a future Trans-Caspian International Transport route. Other regional states such as
On 1 October 2017 a referendum on independence was held in Catalonia. The possible independence of this region would have a major impact on the EU participation in the “Belt and Road initiative”. The independence of Catalonia could create new
In his first speech to the Ambassadors on August 29, 2017, President Emmanuel Macron mentioned China’s Belt and Road initiative, which he described as a major geopolitical project. He called for the deepening of the Franco-Chinese partnership and called on
Since September 2017, several European cheeses such as Camembert and Brie have been blocked at Chinese borders by sanitary authorities. Authorities have revised their criteria and no longer allow the importation of certain types of cheese such as soft cheese,
The Chinese group “Legend Holdings” is about to buy 90% of “Banque internationale à Luxembourg” (Bil, International Bank in Luxembourg) from Qatar’s Precision Capital. The announcement was made on September 1, 2017. To be finalized, this 1.5 billion euro acquisition
What would be the impact on the BRI? In late August 2017, Silvio Berlusconi, former Italian Prime Minister, who hopes to return to the highest office of the Republic revived his idea of a double currency for Italy. According to