The dialogue forum “Silk Road Reloaded”, which was recently organized by the Austrian Economic Chamber (WKO), provided an interesting opportunity for experts and trade representatives from Almaty, Ankara, Beijing, Moscow, London, Tbilisi, Teheran and Vienna to exchange views on the geopolitical, economic and logistic dimensions of the Chinese Silk Road Initiative with representatives of the Austrian business community.
wiiw Economist and former Deputy Director Peter Havlik presented his assessment of the economic challenges this Initiative will pose for the European Union and Eurasia. According to him, there are currently two competing integrations on the wider Eurasian continent and the EU’s economic dominance would change with the inclusion of China. EU-Russia geopolitical tensions, Sino-Russian trade imbalances and asymmetries, the Russian stagnation and the rise of China are among the key economic challenges for the Silk Road Reloaded. A wider Eurasian integration – from Lisbon to Vladivostok and Shanghai – could not only boost trade, investment and growth, but would also relieve countries in between, such as Ukraine, from the ‘impossible’ either/or choices.