Romania in talks on high-speed train project with China

By bne IntelliNews November 27, 2013

Romania wants to get the support of Chinese partners in several transport infrastructure projects, including a high-speed railway route to link the Constanta port at Black Sea with the country’s western border, Adevarul daily reported, quoting transport minister Ramona Manescu as saying. The project is estimated at EUR 11bn.

The statement was made in the context of the China-Central and Eastern European Countries Summit that takes place in the capital Bucharest on November 26-29. China’s PM Li Keqiang mentioned a credit line of USD 10bn that would be made available for projects in the region.

Separately, he stressed that the trade between China and the 16 countries in the region has to double within five years. China wants to import food and plans to develop large-scale infrastructure projects.

Other projects pinpointed by Romanian and Chinese officials were in the energy sector and agri-food. The Chinese companies’ interest in developing large scale energy projects [nuclear, hydro, coal, thermal] have been discussed for years.

China’s firm commitment for massive livestock and food imports from Romania was recently expressed and the contracts for the first cattle shipments were signed.

But the high-speed train project is relatively new and if completed over a decent period of time would give a major boost to Romania’s economy.

The first detailed discussions with Chinese partners on the high-speed train are scheduled for December 10 while further talks will be held next January. The route would stretch from Arad to Constanta, through Bucharest. The first section to be built would link the capital city Bucharest and the Black Sea port Constanta. The Chinese investors have discussed also port infrastructure investments.

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