Belt and Road Initiative

The Belt and Road Initiative offers significant opportunities for German corporates

In 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was unveiled by China’s President Xi Jinping. The objective of the BRI is to connect and promote economic cooperation between Eurasian countries, primarily the People's Republic of China (PRC), the land-based Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) and the Maritime Silk Road (MSR). For 1,500 years these routes were used to transport goods from China to the Mediterranean. The Initiative will link China with 74 other countries across Asia, Europe and Africa via six corridors and plans to support the construction of motorways, ports, railways and gas pipelines. The goal is to promote free trade and boost economic growth in all participating countries.

New paths and opportunities for German companies

Economists say the Initiative is the largest economic plan of the 21st century, with approximately 900 projects in 74 countries. China is a significant market for the German economy and its corporations. For example in 2017, China topped Germany’s foreign trade rankings with a total trading value of EUR 186.6bn (according to the official data from the Federal Statistics Office), highlighting the importance of China for Europe’s largest economy. So, what does this mean for you as a corporate?

Your partner for success in the Belt and Road Initiative

The BRI route offers significant opportunities for Germany as Europe’s largest partner for the BRI. Commerzbank finances approximately 30% of Germany’s foreign trade and is a leading finance provider for corporate clients in Germany. As a market leader in foreign trade for Germany, it is part of our DNA to support our clients in their investment ventures abroad. Rely on our product expertise and knowledge of the local customs and business environment to support you in your first steps along the BRI.

However, in respect of sanctions law, special caution is required if the transport takes place via the Silk Road through Iran. The US embargo against Iran prohibits transports through Iran. If a transaction bears a relation to the jurisdiction of the USA, e.g. through the currency USD, the transport through Iran entails a violation of the US embargo. Goods which have been transported through Iran are regarded as Iranian goods under US jurisdiction.