Kinas nya sidenvägar: effekter på svensk handel och svenska transporter


VTI has been commissioned by Trafikanalys to assess how initiated and announced infrastructure investments within the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) can impact Swedish trade and Swedish transports. BRI is a global development strategy launched by China in 2013 and is expected to continue until 2049. By March 2019, the initiative comprised 125 countries and 29 international organizations that cooperated within 173 coordination agreements in various constellations. In this report, the focus is on infrastructure investments that are carried out to facilitate trade between Asia and Europe.

The analyzed outcome is only connected to changes in transport time and trade costs. No assessment is made on how BRI may affect economic growth in different countries, which would further impact Swedish and international trade. In total, 93 infrastructure projects are included in the analysis, of which 67 are related to land transports (railways in particular) and 26 are related to maritime transports. There are three major railway routes that are included; a Trans-Siberian route through Russia that connects to the northern part of China, a route via Kazakhstan that connects to the north western parts of China, and a southern route via Turkey and Iran that connects to south western China. The route via Kazakhstan is the most utilized route today, while the southern route requires major investments. For maritime transports, most of the projects are reinforcements of port infrastructure along current routes from eastern China via the Suez canal, while there are also plans to develop the so called Thai canal to avoid the route around the Malay Peninsula, as well as to open waterways through the Arctic Ocean and the Bering Strait.

Effects on bilateral trade are estimated with an econometric (gravity) model, using trade flows and country specific variables during years 1988 to 2017. Specifically, the model is used to examine the effect of a reduction in trade frictions between countries. Changes in these trade frictions are based on calculations in de Soyres et al. (2018), indicating the potential improvements in transport times and trade costs generated by projects in BRI. In a second stage, the effects on Swedish transports are analyzed using the Swedish national model for freight transportation (Samgods), in which different transport solutions are estimated. In particular, these solutions are estimated with the commodity specific demand matrices in the Swedish Transport Administration’s (Trafikverkets) freight transport forecast for year 2040, as well as with demand matrices that are revised based on the BRI results from the gravity model. In addition, trade and transports are linked together based on descriptions of Sweden’s current trade with countries mostly affected by BRI and based on previous estimates of transport volumes and transport patterns for different commodity groups.



ICTTP 2020

ICTTP, International Conference on Traffic and Transport Psychology, is held in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis: European Conference 2020

VTI and Centre for Transport Studies (CTS) at Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) organise Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis: European Conference 2020. 

International Cycling Safety Conference

Swedish Cycling Research Centre, Cykelcentrum, organises together with Lund University the International Cycling Safety Conference, ICSC, in Lund 4-6 November 2020.



Self-driving Buses in Linköping Part of the EU Project SHOW

The benefits of self-driving vehicles for people with disabilities are one of the focus area for a recently launched EU project linked to self-driving buses in Linköping, Sweden.


Young people's travel habits are important for the transition of the transport system

The transport system is facing a number of challenges due to its negative impact in areas such as the climate, equality and fairness. In a recent report, researchers highlight the voices of young people to get their thoughts on the field of transport.


Connected vehicles solve parking problems

Vehicles circulating in the city centre in search of a free parking space is a growing problem. A cloud service that tracks the traffic situation and the availability of free parking spaces could reduce both traffic and congestion.


More International Collaborations for VTI and Sweden

VTI’s highly sought-after expertise is put to use through a well-developed network of international collaborations. A memorandum of understanding with Malaysia is the latest of VTI’s bilateral cooperation agreements.


Study on driver sleepiness at VTI

Driver fatigue and especially driver sleepiness are common contributing causes of crashes. Since January, a study has been underway at VTI where researchers are investigating how drivers' sleepiness and attention are affected by systems for partially...


Sustainable business travel

Almost 40 per cent of distance travelled in Sweden is business travel (including study trips) and 66 per cent of those are by car. This is therefore an area where great environmental gains can be made if more sustainable modes of transport were used.