The first train on an expanded China-Germany train line will today arrive in Duisburg, Germany, from China’s tech capital, Shenzhen.
Looking to grow a $206 billion trade relationship, the Belt and Road project sports a shipping time of 18 days, more than twice the speed of sea freight more reliable than airfreight, which has been damaged by COVID-19 airport closures.
Of note, a food shortage in China caused by record flooding and African swine flu has positioned German meat exports to exponentially rise as a result of the expanded rail.
Expect today’s arrival in Duisburg to be lauded as a win for Shenzhen’s burgeoning tech sector by Chinese officials, but it is unlikely to have a noticeable effect on tech exports in the short term. Instead, in the medium-term, expect German exports of meat to sharply rise as China looks to combat a worsening food shortage. In the long run, expect increased rail linkage to allow Germany to further widen its trade surplus with China, evidenced by surging eastbound rail traffic as well as Berlin’s reluctance to run a trade deficit.
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Bilal is the Director of Training and Development. He holds a master’s degree in law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University where he extensively researched the US war in Afghanistan. Previously, Bilal has worked independently throughout mainland China as a teacher and as a domestic political communications fellow with Murmuration.