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back to index backCHINAtalk March,  2017


Why the New Silk Road needs a digital revolution

The ancient and historic trade route between China and Europe is coming back to life as one of the biggest infrastructure projects of the 21st century, with major implications for economies throughout the world.

One Belt/One Road (OBOR), the all-encompassing effort to restore old trade routes and streamline the transport of goods from Asia to Europe, has already received more than $51 billion from China, and more than 100 countries have signed on, with free trade, collaboration agreements or other partnerships.

The expected benefits are well known: 70,000 new jobs, vastly improved economies of countries such as Kazakhstan, and opportunities for small and medium enterprises, both from Asia and Europe, to enter new markets that today may not be easily accessible. But achieving that potential means overcoming four major obstacles: the slow speed with which goods now travel, the inconsistency of customs clearance, the high costs for everything from labour to logistics delays, and the lack of visibility into the status of goods making their way along the New Silk Road.

When companies ship by air they only need to deal with the red tape of customs and inspections at the beginning and end of a journey. Ground transportation is less expensive, but it stalls each time you cross a border. Products not only move slowly but are also subject to increased costs, including potentially moving from one truck or train to another. There are also tariffs, arbitrary delays and possible system manipulation.

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Source: World Economic Forum
- GAI






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