Franz Peter Lang, Malte Pehl LL.M.


At the end of 2021, the freight rates for container ships were USD 16,000 per 40-foot container. The same container cost only about $2000 two years earlier. This is good for shipping companies, but importers need to be able to bear such freight costs. This is currently leading to considerations of reorganizing the supply chains and thus the spatial structure of the international production facilities (the international division of labour).

However, this in turn must also take into account the expected effects of China's “Belt and Road Initiative” and the European Union's “Global Gate Way” initiative. This paper focuses on concepts, the similarities and the differences of this initiatives and their possible effects on the changes in the world economy in the future. Their chances of realization are also critically examined. Both initiatives will have enormous problems financing their ambitious programs. Planning, political and organizational problems will arise. Primarily due to the complexity of the decision-making apparatus in China and in the European Union. In the first case, caused by the high degree of centralization and the autocratic political structures. In the second case, due to the extreme decentralization and the low political power of the decision-makers on the European level


Freight rates; World trade; Chinese Belt Road Initiative; Global Gateway Initiative; European Union; Chines and European Development Policy

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