China's investment in its ambitious One Belt, One Road project will spur infrastructure building, but it does not mean automatic market access along the route, a steel industry executive said Thursday.
"Even if you are an investor…along the One Belt and Road routing, actual investment will not necessarily guarantee you will have access to markets," said Gerry Craggs, managing director for Asia of U.K. steel trader Stemcor.
He cited the example of how U.K. steel manufacturers were able to bring about a dumping case against Chinese steel even though the East Asia giant was a substantial investor into the U.K., which is also a participant in the Chinese initiative.
Launched in 2013, the initiative backed by president Xi Jinping aims to revive the ancient Silk Road and strengthen Chinese ties with more than 60 countries across Asia, Europe and East Africa through infrastructure, trade and investment.
The attraction to China is opening up vast areas of Central Asia that still retain trade links established centuries ago to routes in South Asia, Persia, Arabia and Africa, but now often lack the modern infrastructure needed to attract large-scale investment and trade.