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Work starts on China-financed Belgrade-Budapest rail link

Updated: Dec 1,2017 12:02 AM

Construction of the railway line between Serbia and Hungary started this week during the sixth meeting of the heads of government of China and Central and Eastern European countries (CEEC).

The work began in Serbia on Nov 28, while Hungary announced an open bidding for the section within its border.

When meeting with Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, Premier Li Keqiang said he hopes both countries can advance and complete the project as soon as possible, which will inject new momentum into building the China-Europe land-sea express line and improve regional connectivity.

The 350-kilometer rail line will link the Hungarian capital Budapest with the Serbian capital Belgrade, with 184 km in Serbia and the rest in Hungary. A group of Chinese enterprises will build the line that will shorten the travel time from eight hours to three hours.

For China, the rail line will offer a new way to export its goods, equipment and technology to Europe. For the countries involved the link will play a significant role in revitalizing the regional economy.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban regards the railway as a “flagship program” for his country; Brnabic said the railway will help Serbia “establish itself as a central hub of the region”.