Samstag, 29.02.2020 09:04 Uhr

Italy and the Belt and Road Initiative

Verantwortlicher Autor: Carlo Marino Rome, 15.03.2019, 11:33 Uhr
Presse-Ressort von: Dr. Carlo Marino Bericht 6853x gelesen

Rome [ENA] The Government of the Italian Republic and the Government of the People’s Republic of China based on the aspiration of furthering bilateral practical cooperation seem to be ready to sign a Memorandum of Understanding next week in order to work together within the Belt and Road Initiative. The Italian institutions are preparing the General secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC),

President of the People's Republic of China (PRC) and chairman of the Central Military Commission Xi Jingping's visit to Rome on March 20 to sign what is, quite simply, a historical agreement. Notwithstanding the political pressure of the USA, Italian Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi on Thursday defended the commercial accords Italy is prepared to sign with China as part of its "Belt and Road" initiative and said the Italian government has got the backing of President Sergio Mattarella. The Belt and Road Initiative was initiated by the Chinese government in 2013, in order to open up the ancient trading routes with Asia, Africa and Europe. China is carrying out or planning construction projects in more than 60 countries along

these routes. The idea of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) sprouted during president Hu Jintao’s term when the first seeds for the economic reintegration of Eurasia were planted in 2012 with the establishment of the Group 16+1 aiming at connecting China with Central and Eastern Europe. It is also important to remind that President Xi officially put forth the BRI in 2013, first in Kazakhstan regarding the land-oriented Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB), and subsequently in Indonesia regarding the sea-oriented Twenty-first Century Maritime Silk Road (21MSR). Key points of the Belt and Road Initiative were further specified by the Chinese government in the ‘Vision and Actions on jointly building the Silk Road Economic Belt and Twenty-first

Century Maritime Silk Road’ released in 2015. That same year commenced operations the New Development Bank (NDB) and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) meant to financially assist infrastructure projects including BRI-related projects. The development strategy connects to a movement in which China plays a larger global role, supported by a China oriented trade network. According to various estimates, the New Silk Road is one of the largest infrastructural projects in history, involving 68 countries, which in 2017 comprised approximately 65% of the world's population and 40% of the global gross domestic product. BRI-routes go beyond existing railway connections crossing the New Eurasian Land Bridge.

They also include a number of corridors such as Northern Sea Route (NSR), China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) or China-Central and West Asia Economic Corridor (CCWAEC) etc., crossing nearly 70 countries and avoiding well-established trade hubs. While the New Eurasian Land Bridge is supposed to reverse the consequences of the Age of Discovery and of the so called European miracle in the income distribution between West and East, the BRI in its totality might have even more deep implication for the global division of labour. Such reshuffle will certainly bring about tensions, controversies and disputes in various configurations between governments as well as state-controlled or private enterprises.A complex dispute settlement system shall

embrace informal as well as formal mechanisms of securing efficient mediation, arbitration, litigation and enforcement along BRI routes. This system starts taking shape in mid-2018 with the announcement of the creation of international commercial courts in Xi’an and in Shenzhen. New dispute prevention and resolution platform will be established to serve trade customs and rule of law in international trade and investment, particular along BRI. The development of new infrastructure will divert trade flows to new corridors, shifting the world centre of economic gravity and creating new centres of international economic activities in a more multipolar world. Many regions will swap their places in global chains of value and production.

Many currently peripheral and protectionist jurisdictions will have to face new challenges of trade facilitation, protection of foreign investment, sustainability and transparency of international trade and investment projects, as a result of increased trade flows. Policymakers along BRI-routes will have to respond to a combination of essentially linked geopolitical, economic and legal challenges.

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