New Amber Route in Northern Europe

Author: Zhang Guoping, Postdoctoral Researcher, CDI

Editor’s Note: The proposal of the Amber Route has clearly defined the potential of complementary industries in the future between China and the Nordic countries, and will expand and deepen economic and trade cooperation between China and the Nordic and Arctic region.

Arctic region has weak infrastructure but the enormous potential needs. The construction of Arctic transport will bring the world a more efficient transportation system, and substantial increase for local economic opportunities. The "Belt and Road" initiative has brought a large amount of investment to infrastructure in Nordic and Arctic region. For example, the Silk Road Fund, with a $40 billion investment, has bought 9.9% shares of the Yamal liquefied natural gas project that is worth $27 billion. Meanwhile, three-dimensional traffic pattern project of Finland has begun to form through the "Belt and Road" initiative. The freight trains from China, Zhengzhou (or Xi'an) to Kouvola will be opened which will bring a new branch to the China-Europe freight train service. COSCO has also designed and built a world leading general cargo vessel to regularly sail northward and berth in Finland. In aviation, Finland Airlines currently operates six direct flights to China.

In terms of bilateral economic and trade cooperation, Nordic countries, with a range of traditional competitive industries such as shipping, agriculture, paper making and marine fishery, agree and complement with China that raises requirements in emerging industry development. Emerging advantage areas including green energy, high-end precision instruments, environmental protection, health care and creative design also attract Chinese capital to northern Europe. At present, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the main forces in Nordic developed countries to absorb social employment and promote technological innovation, with strong technical superiority and innovative ability. These enterprises are lack of funds and markets in exploiting the overseas market while China's capital and markets just make up such demands. By encouraging China’s financial institutions and environmental technology, bio-pharmaceutical enterprises to issue bonds and test venture investment in Nordic countries, we may explore and promote the SME Development Fund to provide financing, market information sharing and other facilities for SME cooperation between the countries, and give play to the role of Silk Road Fund.