Belt And Road Weekly Investor Intelligence #123
Tuesday, March 7, 2023
Compiled by Chris Devonshire-Ellis
INSTC infrastructure projects continue to be completed, as pressures to better integrate Euro-China-Asia trade routes intensify – with much of the work required being in properly connecting Iran. Chinese, Indian, and Middle Eastern investors continue to raise finance and capitalize on industries in Russia vacated by the EU, while China’s positioning as concerns Mongolia to Belarus is having significant impacts, as is BRI investment in Tajikistan. Closer to home, Vietnam and Hainan – the island is a free trade zone – are creating new business models and opportunities in each other’s markets.
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It is rare for so many countries of different sizes, geographic locations, economic weight, and overall geopolitical importance to align on advancing a geo-economic project. Yet repositioning Eurasian trade routes is proving a complex exercise.
Numerous connectivity infrastructure projects are repositioning Mongolia as an energy and transit hub for Northeast Asia.
There’s plenty in the deal for Belarussian development as Lukashenko and Xi join market forces as Belarus looks to East Asia.
As the ‘world’s biggest free trade port’, China’s Hainan province will undoubtedly play a key role in bilateral trade between Vietnam and China moving forward. Here’s the current trade picture between the two.
Tajikistan is one of the smaller Central Asian nations, yet bordering China has a key role to play within China’s reach West. In this article we examine the BRI from the Tajikistan perspective, look at development trends and the opportunities resulting from the country’s participation within the Middle Corridor and increasing Central Asian integration.
The exodus of Western wines and spirits from the Russian domestic market is proving to be an incentive for large Indian MNCs operating in this field to gain a valuable new market. UK distillers especially are set to lose out to their Indian rivals in the Russian market profitability.
The Middle East and Asia are proving compatible neighbors as the pivot of the Gulf States toward East Asia continues. East Asia and China especially are now playing a crucial role for the Middle East as key suppliers of exported goods and are the predominant import market for the Middle East’s energy and non-energy goods exports. Regional trade is now worth about US$1 Trillion per annum.
Iran’s first land port opened on March 6. It is very close to the capital, Tehran, and Iran’s national rail network. Cargo shipment through Iran is expected to double.
Russia is ready to move to the practical implementation of the missing components of the International North-South Corridor (INSTC), Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said during a press conference with his Azerbaijani counterpart. Discussions are underway on the construction of the Rasht-Astara rail link, which is currently missing.
China is targeting the EU-exited Russian auto market but will need to adapt.
Billion-dollar, pan-Eurasian M&A deals unfold as EU auto manufacturers exit Russia and Eurasian investors capitalize on the opportunities.
Euromonitor has reported that EU exports to Russia have decreased by 47%. However, almost exactly matching this, EU exports to Armenia, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan increased by 48% and reached €20.3 billion over the same 6-month period. Most of those exports ended up in Russia.
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