7 Nov 2016
Poland Paves Way for Belt and Road
The opening of new warehousing facilities in Poland has been hailed as helping pave the way for China's ambitious Belt and Road Initiative. The new facility opened in Gdansk, Poland's fourth-largest city and principal port. The warehouse was set up to serve the needs of the Suzhou-based Chunxing Group, as the aluminum-components manufacturing company expands its interests across Europe.
The establishment of the new facility marks a policy shift by Chinese businesses active in the region. Previously, most of their commercial activity had focused on mergers and acquisitions. This latest venture, though, represents a major investment in Central Europe, bringing with it new jobs.
It is envisaged that this new Gdansk facility will optimise warehouse and logistics services for Chunxing's European clients, allowing the company to meet their needs with considerably shortened lead times. At present, the initial warehousing phase of the project is approaching completion. Over the next three to four years, this will be followed by the construction of a full-scale production plant in the city.
Gdansk was chosen as the base for Chunxing's European expansion plans because of the city's location, with its close proximity to Poland's principal port, which offers a direct connection to China. The region's road infrastructure also easily facilitates distribution activities across Europe.
Poland is also linked to China via the China Railway Express Network, which officially began operating under its new branding in June. Currently, freight trains run directly from several Chinese cities to the Polish capital Warsaw, which is just 250 miles from Gdansk. An expressway linking the two cities is scheduled for completion by 2020.
In a sign of the growing economic and political connections between the two countries, President Xi Jinping, earlier this year, headed a trade mission to Poland. During his official visit, Mr Xi affirmed China's commitment to building closer ties with Poland and Eastern Europe.
"Central and Eastern Europe as a sub-region boasts the greatest potential for growth in all of Europe. We see Poland as being at the very heart of that,” said Mr Xi. ”China is also ready to commit to Poland's re-industrialisation drive, particularly through greater cooperation with regards to production capacity."
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Belt and Road