WG 1: Strategic sectors and infrastructure development

This working group focuses on Chinese investments and involvement in strategic sectors and infrastructure development across Europe, including both tangible (power plants, energy networks, renewables, construction or reconstruction of roads, highways, railways and real estate) and non-tangible infrastructure (such as telecommunication, 5G and 5G-driven technologies, tourism, and agriculture). This is the investment field with the clearest (geo)political connotations. 

Infrastructure development plays a key role in Chinese investments related to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and in the 17+1 framework. Chinese investments or involvement in railway construction in Eastern Europe (e.g. Budapest-Belgrade railway), in ports in Southern Europe (e.g. Piraeus, Greece) or in the UK (e.g. nuclear power stations such as Hinkley Point C) equally carry significant (geo)political importance. Moreover, this is also the field of investment that predominantly involves state-owned (and Communist Party controlled) enterprises and thus has a partly distinctive set of governing values, motives, standards and norms.

Agnes-Szunomar, Leader WG 1

Coordinator: Ágnes Szunomár

Institute of World Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies (IWE CERS) and Corvinus University of Budapest (CUB)

Ágnes Szunomár, PhD is a Hungarian economist who extensively looks at China’s economic footprint in Europe. She is the head of Research Group on Development Economics at the Institute of World Economics, CERS, Hungary and assistant professor at Corvinus University of Budapest. She has more than 100 scientific publications, has led and participated in several international research projects. She is also a member of China Observers in Central and Eastern Europe (CHOICE) network. Her most recent works are: Emerging-market Multinational Enterprises in East Central Europe, Empty shell no more: China’s growing footprint in Central and Eastern Europe and Employee relations at Asian subsidiaries in Hungary: Do home or host country factors dominate?

Co-leaderDr Niall Duggan

University College Cork

Dr Niall Duggan is a lecturer in the Department of Government and Politics at University College Cork, where he teaches international relations, International political economy, and Asian Politics.  From 2013-2015 Dr Duggan was the Acting-Chair of Modern Chinese Society and Economy at Georg-August-Universität Göttingen (GAUG).  Dr Duggan has also been a lecturer at the Institute of East Asian Politics, Ruhr Universität Bochum, and the Department of Chinese Studies NUI Maynooth. His main research focuses are emerging economies in global governance; international relations (IR) of the Global South; and China’s foreign and security policies, with a special focus on Sino-African and Sino-EU relations.

Recent Publications 

Niall Duggan (2019) Competition and Compromise among Chinese Actors in Africa: A Bureaucratic Politics Study of Chinese Foreign Policy Actors. Basingstoke, United Kingdom: Palgrave Macmillan

Niall Duggan & Obert Hodzi (2020) ‘The challenges of China-European Union Security Cooperation in Africa’. Asia Europe Journal Vol 18 Issue 3

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