China signs Balkan bullet train deal to drive Europe trade

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“This will put in place a corridor between China and Europe,” Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang told reporters after signing the deal in Belgrade, estimated by local media to be worth €1.5 billion (US$1.9 billion).

China signed a huge deal on Wednesday (Dec 17) to finance a high-speed bullet train between Budapest and Belgrade, a key link in Beijing’s expanding network for getting its goods to European markets.

“This will put in place a corridor between China and Europe,” Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang told reporters after signing the deal in Belgrade, estimated by local media to be worth €1.5 billion (US$1.9 billion). “Development of this railway line will contribute to both Hungary and Serbia,” he added. Li said he was confident the project – whose cost has not been officially confirmed – would be completed within the next two years.

The signing was the centrepiece of a summit in Belgrade with 16 central and eastern European leaders designed to cement Beijing’s plans for new transport links to funnel exports into Europe. China hopes to turn the Greek port of Piraeus – where the Chinese shipping giant Cosco has a 35-year concession to hugely expand its two container terminals – into a new hub for trade with the continent.

Before signing the agreement Li met with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, as well as his counterparts from Macedonia and Serbia, Nikola Gruevski and Aleksandar Vucic, to discuss details of the project.

Macedonia, which lies on the path of the north-south corridor linking Hungary with Greece through Serbia, plans to join the project later.

Infrastructure and transport were top of the agenda at the two-day talks, which also discussed wider Chinese trade and investment in the region.

Orban hailed the bullet train deal on Wednesday and said “it shows that China and Europe have found the possibility to cooperate to their mutual benefit in decades to come.” The Serbian prime minister pledged to “employ the utmost efforts and energy to see it completed”.

Beijing said it was interested in investing in energy, agriculture and industry as well as infrastructure projects in the 16 countries.

Trade between China and the region has expanded fivefold since 2003. Chinese Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng said it could exceed US$60 billion this year, up US$4.9 billion on 2013.

 

 

Source : Channel News Asia | December 17, 2014

Thomas D’Innocenzi

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Thomas D’Innocenzi is a highly accomplished, results-focused international consultant with extensive experience in global sourcing and business development worldwide to meet evolving business needs. Tom has proven ability in implementing and managing profitable global marketing and sourcing operations. He has extensive experience in international business development to accommodate rapid growth. Skilled in building top-performing teams, bench-marking performance, and developing organizations to improve efficiency, productivity, and profitability. Experienced transition leader and change agent. Tom founded Nova Advisors with the mission of providing expert Global Business Development consulting services for companies seeking to expand their market share as an independent consultant. Tom has a network of experts and advisors throughout the Asia-Pacific region and North America. His expertise includes business development, global sourcing, manufacturing, commodities, logistics, QA/QC, FDA, regulatory compliance, sustainability, and supply chain optimization. Tom is experienced in the medical device, apparel, consumer goods and technology services verticals helping companies advance their global sourcing capabilities and develop new markets through a local and sustained approach. Located in SE Asia and the United States, Tom expands market reach to drive sales. His global sourcing strategy includes directly negotiating with commodity suppliers, supply chain networks and distributors for optimal terms based on his expertise and first-hand knowledge of the players. Contact Tom to use his consulting service to increase your global market and make global sourcing profitable for you in the Asia Pacific Region and the United States. http://www.NovaAdvisors.com thomas@NovaAdvisors.com USA Direct: +1.904.479.3600 SINGAPORE: +65.6818.6396 THAILAND: +662.207.9269
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