The magnitude of the Balkan Silk Road project poses a mixture of opportunities and policy challenges for countries engaging in or seeking to benefit from its implementation.
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Chinese infrastructure investment in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) is on the rise, according to data collected by Reconnecting Asia in collaboration with the Financial Times. A focal point of this investment is the 16+1 format, which brings together China and 16 CEE countries. In November, at the sixth annual 16+1 summit, Chinese premier Li Keqiang announced an additional $2.4 billion in development-oriented financial cooperation loans. We asked a group of experts to comment on China’s rising economic engagement in the region, which has been called the “gateway to Europe” for its flagship foreign policy initiative, the Belt and Road.
Major infrastructure projects… can still fail economically in terms of opportunity costs either because of excessive costs or insufficient demand but their political importance can be very significant, even momentous.
The guiding principle of the Trans-Siberian Railway was not about the routine moving of people from place-to-place, but sticking a pair of iron rods into bleak territory that had strategic importance in defining Russia’s role in the Far East.
A country’s transportation infrastructure is plugged into other national and supranational networks in such a way as to impact, not just domestic economic interests, but also advance national security and foreign policy objectives.