Trade and Investment Research Cluster

Within the Westminster Development Policy Network, we have a cluster of researchers with an interest in international trade and investment. One current area of work highlighted here concerns assessing the impact of Chinese trade and investment.

The effects of the Chinese acquisition of strategic assets in Europe: The Port of Piraeus

Karen Jackson, Jiandan Li and Serena Masino

This ongoing project explores the impacts of the Chinese acquisition of the Port of Piraeus along three overlapping strands (i) trade (ii) business and (iii) employment.

We have conducted an initial scoping of the research, during which semi-structured interviews were conducted with senior managers, national and local institutions, union representatives and dock workers. The interviews served to establish access to the field and identify important research categories and themes.

Follow-up conversations will provide insights into the changing patterns of port trade, adjustments to the management of port activities due to the demand/supply shocks resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, direct and indirect spillovers including how far back into the local economy these extend, as well as the differential employment impacts across workers under different employers. Our project’s results will highlight key issues that need to be considered given the real prospect of further Chinese investments in Greece and the rest of Europe.

China in Uzbekistan: An investigation into the effects of the BRI on trade, migration, and Chinese language education

The project team is comprised of a multi-lingual team of researchers based in London and Tashkent, including Karen Jackson and Bakhrom Mirkasimov, Cangbai Wang and Gerda Wielander. The project is funded by the WUIT Collaborative Research Fund (9,710 pounds) for the period: Nov 2019 – Nov 2021. The research aims…

  • to map out different types of investment (Chinese government investment/loans, State-Owned Enterprise investment, private investment) into relevant sectors over the last ten years;
  • to map Chinese migration to Uzbekistan associated with the development of BRI;
  • to map the establishment of Confucius institutes and classrooms, and to analyse data in relation to Chinese language learning and teaching as well as the need for Chinese language interpreting and translation;
  • to map media coverage of China and BRI in two main Uzbek publications.

The project will include a conference in June 2021: A Central Asian Perspective on the BRI: Chinese Investment, Migration, and Language Education in the Shadow of COVID-19

More details —- Project page

Publications and working papers

Glinavos I. (2020) Which Way Huawei? ISDS Options for Chinese Investors. In: Chaisse J., Choukroune L., Jusoh S. (eds) Handbook of International Investment Law and Policy. Springer, Singapore — More details

Jackson, K. and O. Shepotylo. Belt and Road: The China Dream? (May 20, 2020). Available at SSRN: 

Jackson, K., J. Li and S. Masino, The effects of the Chinese acquisition of strategic assets in Europe: The Port of Piraeus

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