19 Aug 2016
Burgeoning Logistics Investment in Gdansk Paves Way for BRI Success
Opening of new warehouse facilities underlines Poland's pivotal role in roll-out of Belt and Road Initiative.
The opening of new warehousing facilities in Poland is being hailed as helping pave the way for China's ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The new facility has been opened in Gdansk, Poland's fourth largest city and its principal port. It has been established to service the needs of the Suzhou-based Chunxing Group, as the aluminium components manufacturing company expands its interests across Europe.
The establishment of the new facility marks something of a shift in policy by Chinese businesses active in the region. Previously, most of their commercial activity had focussed on mergers and acquisitions. This latest venture, though, represents a major investment in the region, bringing with it a number of 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 service their needs with considerably abbreviated 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.
In terms of why Gdansk was chosen as the base for Chunxing's European expansion plans, this is seen as being down to a number of factors. Most obviously, the city's location, with its close proximity to Poland's principal port, was a key factor. The port offers a direct connection to China, while the region's road infrastructure also easily facilitates distribution activities across wider Europe.
Poland is also linked to China via the China Railway Express Network, which officially began operating under its new branding in June of this year. Currently, freight trains run directly from a number of Chinese cities to Warsaw, Poland's capital city, which is just 250 miles from Gdansk. An expressway linking the two cities is scheduled for completion by 2020.
Earlier in the year, in a sign of the growing economic-political connections between the two countries, Xi Jinping, China's President, headed a trade mission to Poland. During his official visit, Xi affirmed China's commitment to building closer ties with both Poland and Eastern Europe.
He said: "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. China is also ready to commit to Poland's re-industrialisation drive, particularly through greater cooperation with regards to production capacity."
Anna Dowgiallo, Warsaw Consultant