Abstract: China’s cooperation with the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) under the 16+1 forum has raised concerns in western capitals since it posed a new challenge in the region. On the other hand, the CEE countries viewed it as a potential new trade opportunity. Certain countries may have even viewed it as an opportunity to rebalance the influence of the West and East in the region. A decade into the 16+1 cooperation, it is more evident that the expectations of the CEE partners have not been met. An empirical study devoid of political agendas is required to provide an objective evaluation of this cooperation. The article utilizes UN Comtrade statistics to determine the value-density ratios of commodities exported to China, which are then compared to the value density of goods exported to other markets. While the results indicate that such exports contribute positively to the economies of the majority of CEE countries, the V4 countries performed exceptionally well. The fact that non-EU countries largely underperformed indicates that EU membership may be more critical for the successful exports to China than their participation in the 16+1 forum.
Authors: Ondrej Tomčík
Keywords: 16+1 China-CEEC forum, Belt and Road Initiative, Value Density Ratio, Export to China