The Modern Silk Road: One Way or Another?
The technological developments of the last century made it possible to organize the production processes in international supply chains in a way that different stages of production for a single good take place over multiple locations. Given the over-congestion of the Chinese ports, rail freight emerges as a critical logistical alternate solution to support China’s growing trade with Europe, and also as a tool to bring industrial development to the landlocked countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus. There are three alternative corridors along the Modern Silk Road to connect China to Europe, which should be regarded not as substitutes for but as compliments to each other, as they form a comprehensive network of railways along the Modern Silk Road. In order to reap the multiple benefits of the Modern Silk Road, the international community should have a clear road-map to engage all relevant actors, in particular the private sector, in a productive dialogue to set project policy priorities by assessing major bottlenecks and to build institutional capacity.