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PSSI Held a Brainstorming Meeting on China’s One Belt One Road Initiative with Experts from V4+ Countries

13.09.2018

On September 13, PSSI held a brainstorming meeting with project partners within the project „Comparative analysis of the approach towards China: V4+ and One Belt, One Road (OBOR)“.

Invited experts presented their briefings, in which they highlighted key trends, major investment projects and the latest developments in their respective countries. While V4+ countries share a series of similarities in terms of large trade imbalances and fairly insignificant FDI vis-a-vis China, there are also unique differences. 

Here are a few takeaways:

In particular, it is important to highlight that Slovakia, for example, is the only V4 country with a specific „China strategy“ (so-called „Strategy for the Development of Economic Relations with China 2017-2020” adopted in 2017). But recent experiences demonstrate that the government in Slovakia did not invest that much energy in developing political and economic relations with China when compared with Hungary, Serbia, Poland, and the Czech Republic. This lack of commitment is partially reflected in some of the largest projects, such as China’s Hesteel Group alleged interest in the U.S. Steel-owned factory in Kosice, not being materialized. 

On the other hand, Serbia, in 2017, established the National Council for the Coordination of Cooperation with Russia and China, whose competences are arguably unclear. Most recently, Shandong Linglong Tire, China's third largest tire maker, has selected a site in northern Serbia to build a tire factor and invest close to 1 billion dollars (it also considered Slovakia and the Czech Republic). Additionally, during the upcoming President Vucic’s visit to China in September a contract for the construction of a highway section from Preljina to Pozega is expected to be signed with the Chinese authorities.

As regards Warsaw-Beijing economic relations and Chinese investments in Poland, the Polish government has in recent years become more „realistic“ and „reserved“ in its assessments. Interestingly, Poland is the only V4 country with a specific legal tool to control and potentially block certain investments which are regarded as risky. 

Among the experts were: 

This project is supported by the International Visegrad Fund

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