June 4th, 2015

CNN International to explore the modern Silk Road

  • New monthly series to look at past, present and future of iconic trading route from China to Italy
  • Launches Thursday 18 June at 0930 BST / 1030 CET

CNN is embarking on a major new series spanning the length and breadth of the world’s most important and historic trade route – The Silk Road.

‘The Silk Road: Past, Present, Future’ will uncover how the cultural traditions and commercial trading synonymous with this iconic route between East and West are playing into the innovations and developments of today.

Each month, CNN International correspondent Sumnima Udas will visit a different country along The Silk Road uncovering remarkable stories of innovation, culture and business. The format of the 30-minute show will combine the modern world with intelligent historical context that brings the region alive with colour, culture and a history of doing business.

The first stop for the nine-show series is the very start of the Silk Road – China.

In episode one, airing on CNN International from Thursday 18 June, Udas will explore modern-day silk production in the Hangzhou province, speak to China’s largest e-commerce company Alibaba about the internet being the world’s newest “Silk Road”, and see how the city of Xi’an is renovating Silk Road sites to boost tourism along the ancient route.

In July, episode two will focus on Kazakhstan as the series traverses the route of the Silk Road, finally completing the journey in Northern Italy.

“‘The Silk Road: Past, Present, Future’ is where rich, historic cultural context meets modern business and trading against the backdrop of visually stunning landscapes and destinations,” said Ellana Lee, Senior Vice President, CNN International. “This is an exploration of how the Silk Road remains a route to international business in the 21st century, combining centuries’ old traditions with the dynamic business models of our globalised world. Part business show, part travelogue – this series will be an important part of CNN International’s output.”

A dedicated microsite for ‘The Silk Road: Past, Present, Future’ will be hosted on As well as featuring video from the show, this will be a multi-media hub for a host of bespoke content about the topics, cultures and business practices covered in the series.

In addition, CNN’s audience will have the opportunity to engage with the series through unique ‘The Silk Road: Past, Present, Future’ accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

These social media platforms will allow interaction with followers along the journey, as well as providing exclusive digital behind the scenes footage, pictures and Q & A sessions:





‘The Silk Road: Past, Present, Future’ airs at the following times on CNN International:

Thursday 18 June at 0930 BST / 1030 CET

Friday 19 June at 0430 BST / 0530 CET

Saturday 20 June 0530 BST/ 0630 CET and 1630 BST / 1730 CET

Saturday 27 June at 1230 BST / 1330 CET

Sunday 28 June at 0530 BST / 0630 CET

Monday 29 June at 0400 BST / 0500 CET


For further information, please contact:

Joel Brown

PR Manager

CNN Europe, Middle East & Africa

Tel: + 44 20 7693 0967