Easternational's aim is to analyze the Eurasian economic integration, pursued also through the Chinese project known as Belt and Road Initiative ("BRI"), and the opportunities that such integration can bring to European and in particular Italian companies operating in China, Central Asia and Russia.
For some time now, globalization and the opening up of international trade has deeply transformed the Eurasian continent, with a major impact on the European economies. China in particular, which is the third destination for foreign investments worldwide after the EU and USA and represents more than 20% of the global trade, has promoted the "Belt and Road Initiative" (BRI) to revamp the old trade roads that linked Asia to Europe by building transport infrastructures and logistic facilities. China aims to reach this goal also through massive investments in former Soviet Union Republics and Eastern Europe. Meanwhile, Russia is pursuing the creation of the "Eurasian Economic Union" in order to strengthen its influence over Central Asia and the Caucasus and offering an alternative to EU membership.
These two projects have the power of reshaping the Eurasian political and economic geography in the next few years. Although they apparently may sound in competition with each other, in the long run more economic integration from Lisbon to Shanghai, crossing Russia and Central Asia, Caucasian area and European Union will be inevitable. This presents geopolitical challenges to Europe and Italy, but it also offers opportunities, especially for economic operators.
In addition to China, an important trading partner for Italy for over two decades, trading with the countries along the "New Silk Road" has become far more important than before, in particular with Turkey and the Central Asia Republics, while trade with Russia and Ukraine has suffered because of the complex political situation.