Serbia is a hub for two Chinese projects, both integral parts of a larger, global one. Come September, two countries will form task forces that will work on constructing the Chinese-Serbian industrial park in Smederevo which will be considered the hub for two segments of the New Silk Road.
This park, which will serve the Belt and Road Initiative, was one of the topics that the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Republic of China’s Congress, Zhang Deijang spoke about in his address in the Serbian Parliament. “China is willing to include Serbia into the One Belt, One Road project”, Deijang said.
Furthermore, the Serbian government and HBIS Group have signed a protocol stipulating the construction of the Smederevo industrial park which would be home to suppliers and collaborators of the Smederevo Ironworks (Zelezara Smederevo). The park would span 500 hectares.
“The Chinese investment in the Smederevo Ironworks should be observed within the context of the New Silk Road and the Chinese initiatives regarding the construction of the industrial park and a port on the River Danube, while bearing in mind the good geographical position of Smederevo which is located on the intersection of the pan-European corridors 10 (links to the Piraeus Port) and 7 (links to the Constanta Port)”, the Serbian Ministry of Economy says.
And what exactly is the One Belt, One Road project, a part of a large initiative called the New Silk Road? The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road, also known as the Belt and Road Initiative (B&R), and The Belt and Road (B&R), is a development strategy proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping that focuses on connectivity and cooperation between Eurasian countries, primarily the People’s Republic of China, the land-based “Silk Road Economic Belt” (SREB) and the oceangoing “Maritime Silk Road” (MSR). The coverage area of the initiative is primarily Asia and Europe, encompassing around 60 countries. Anticipated cumulative investment over an indefinite timescale is variously put at US$4 trillion or US$8 trillion.
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