The trade route known in Beijing as the Belt and Road Initiative is spurring $1tr of investment on rail, highways and ports linking Europe and Asia. China's renewable-energy companies already are using the initiative to open new markets in southern Asia, the Middle East and Africa, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
Austrian executives gathered outside Vienna to discuss the future of energy are banking on similar market-making effects in Europe. They anticipate the scale of manufacturing from China and quicker market access through the Belt and Road links to drive down the costs electric cars and energy storage technologies in Europe.
“It’s not a question of if but when, because it’s happening,” Verbund AG Chief Executive Officer Wolfgang Anzengruber said at a recent green energy conference in the small Alpine town of Fuschl, Austria. “If China says it, it is so.”
China’s market-making role in Europe extends beyond developing EVs and is striking at the heart of traditional European businesses, according to Wolfgang Hesoun, chief executive officer of Siemens AG’s Austrian unit, which employs 2,500 workers making trains and trolleys.
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