The MENA region and the Silk Road: China's impact on trade routes in the MENA region

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This article is featured in Orient III/2024.

The Belt and Road Initiative has had mixed impacts on trade routes in the MENA region. Most notably, the value and volume of trade exchange between China and countries in the region—as well as of the transit of Chinese goods—has increased, as have the geopolitical and geoeconomic roles of some MENA countries on the global trade map. At the same time, Chinese presence has not increased the safety of trade routes in the region and there are concerns regarding the medium- to long-term effects of Chinese investments in the port infrastructure.

Katarzyna Sidło is Director for the MENA Department at CASE – Center for Social and Economic Research and a Professor under contract at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, teaching a short-term course on Contemporary economic trends in the Middle East and North Africa. She specialises in the political economy, geoeconomics and socioeconomic development of the Middle East and North Africa Region, as well as EU-Southern Mediterranean relations.

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