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Volvo excavator at construction site

Constructing the New Silk Road

The New Silk Road in numbers

Constructing the New Silk Road

China is in the midst of re-drawing the map of the world. The New Silk Road, a global trade strategy based on the ancient Silk Road trading route, involves countries on three continents and more than half of the world’s population.

The Chinese government announced its megaproject plans in 2013 – to connect China with the rest of world by reviving the ancient Silk Road trading routes to the West. Countries in Asia, Africa and Europe are involved in the major project, formally named the Belt and Road Initiative, with the goal to promote economic cooperation across the continents.

The infrastructure program concerns not just one but a number of routes connecting China with the world, both over land and by sea. Projects all over the world are already well underway. In 2017, the first freight train set off from Yiwu in China for London in the United Kingdom. Kazakhstan is a key part of this initiative, where a rail hub, the Khorgos Gateway, is being built in the middle of the desert. The biggest part-project is a route connecting China and Pakistani sea port Gwadar.

Here are some key figures to describe this global megaproject:

Busy road

Over USD 90 billion
China’s direct investment in the project from 2013 to 2018.

12,000
The length in kilometers of the train route connecting China and the United Kingdom.

3,000
The number of residents in Nurkent, a town built completely from scratch in Kazakhstan used to house the people constructing the new rail hub.

404
The number of Volvo machines sold for projects along the New Silk Road.

66
The number of countries, including China, which are directly involved in infrastructure projects within the Belt and Road Initiative.

24
The number of projects constructing the New Silk Road that Volvo CE is involved in.

18
The number of days it takes to travel by train from China to the United Kingdom.

9
The number of countries the train track passes through (China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, Belgium, France and the United Kingdom).

Volvo excavator at construction site
Excavators digging in on the steppe of Kazakhstan.
Constructing the New Silk Road

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