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 senior international executive with extensive experience in global sourcing and market development worldwide to meet evolving business needs. Tom has proven ability in implementing and managing profitable global sourcing operations worldwide. Extensive experience in international market development operations to accommodate rapid growth. Skilled in building top-performing teams, benchmarking performance, and restricting organizations to improve efficiency, productivity, and profitability. Experienced transition leader and change agent. As principal of Nova Advisors, LLC I’ve assembled an exemplary team that brings with them the knowledge and experience gained from starting up a Global Sourcing program with multiple Fortune 500 companies as well as the largest supplier network throughout the Asia-Pacific region. We have experience and expertise in more than a thousand medical and pharmaceutical products in manufacturing and sourcing at the best value. The right product, the right price point and the right branding fueled these successes that resulted in double-digit growth for top line sales and bottom line net margins for our customers. What sets us apart: • Our reach includes a large network of suppliers & manufacturers spanning 13 countries in Asia-Pacific region • We understand the manufacturing process and the business of the supplier and the buyer • Our company culture is based on quality assurance and our process is based on local quality control Our commitment is to be your partner offering the best products and services at the lowest cost. Contact me to discuss how we can make the global marketplace work for you. In addition, I am open to discussing opportunities in global sourcing, international marketing & sales, logistics and medical/pharma in Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines & Japan. Aside from my work I enjoy piano, astronomy, physics, and assisting my daughters with their studies. SPECIALTIES: Global Sourcing, Supply Chain Management, Business Development, Marketing, Logistics, Global Networking, Market Development, Healthcare Solutions, Pharmaceuticals, Medical Devices, Technology, Asia, Southeast Asia, US and Canada
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