French President Emmanuel Macron and UK Prime Minister Theresa May both made trips to China in early 2018. During their visits, they expressed interest in the opportunities presented by China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), but also reluctance over the policy’s aims and whether European countries could really benefit from it.
Given the importance that the Chinese government has ascribed to the BRI – and the vast sums committed to it – European businesses are exploring if and how they can participate. However, many European businesses are unsure of what the BRI looks like in practice, and whether the opportunities it presents can only be enjoyed Chinese companies.
While the exact nature of foreign involvement in the BRI remains elusive, a closer look at the policy and on-the-ground developments show that there are a number of ways for European companies to get involved.
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