Zagreb, Croatia (PortSEurope) May 21, 2019 – Minister of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts Darko Horvat reported that a delegation of the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) will visit Rijeka port today to visit the May 3 shipyard, operated by the financially troubled Uljanik shipbuilding group.
The Chinese company has been reported as being interested in the May 4 yard in Rijeka and the Pula port based Uljanik Shipyard.
Earlier this month Croatia’s Pazin court launched bankruptcy proceedings against the Uljanik Group, the parent of shipbuilders Uljanik d. d. and 3 Maj. Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said that the opening of bankruptcy proceedings for the Uljanik shipyard was not the end, but the beginning of a new phase, announcing that there was ongoing Chinese interest in both ports.
Chinese investment may represent the last hope for the restructuring of Uljanik and 3. Maj as a financial injection by the state seems unlikely. “We have said that such a philosophy of financing shipbuilding no longer makes sense,” Horvat said.
Chinese investment would another step in Beijing’s strategy to acquire assets and rights linked to ports and shipping along the new Silk Road.
The new Silk Road (part of the Belt and Road initiative also known as One Belt, One Road, or OBOR) is a Chinese economic strategy to seek better access for Chinese-made products in European markets, which includes acquiring stakes in ports and other transport facilities, and cooperation agreements with countries along the Silk Road routes.
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