On June 14, 2019, SCHNEIDER GROUP and OWC Verlag für Außenwirtschaft invited Austrian companies to a discussion round in Vienna. The managing partner of SCHNEIDER GROUP, Mr. Ulf Schneider, and Dr. Gerhard Troche from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), explained the economic advantages of cooperation between the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and China’s new Silk Road and called on the Austrians to support them.
According to Ulf Schneider, the relations between the EAEU and the European Union (EU) have proven to be valuable in many respects. The flourishing exchange of goods, qualified specialists, and constant adaptation of technical conformity and regulations to European standards contribute to the high attractiveness of the Eurasian market. Against this background, Mr. Schneider presented the working group of the “Single Economic Space from Lisbon to Vladivostok”.
With the support of the Ostausschuss der Deutschen Wirtschaft, the German-Russian Chamber of Commerce Abroad, the German-Russian Forum, and numerous European companies, the initiative he personally launched is committed to the creation of a common economic space between the EAEU and the EU. Such a trade zone could increase Austrian sales in Eurasia by up to 50 percent. The country’s exports and investments in the EAEU suffered a sharp drop as a result of the Ukrainian crisis. A resurgence would be clearly noticeable in terms of the country’s real prosperity.
Dr. Troche spoke about the continental transport infrastructure. The northern land route from China via the EAEU to Europe has special potential for expansion. The removal of transport barriers through harmonised standards, efficient management, and constructive exchange between the participating countries could relieve shipping traffic and considerably reduce transport times. Rail transport is also the cheapest alternative in some cases. In order to exploit these possibilities, active cooperation between the parties involved is required. This is another valid reason for Austrian companies to cooperate more closely with the EAEU.