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Construction of Budapest–Belgrade railway line could begin soon

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Christian Fernsby ▼ | June 8, 2019
On behalf of the Government of Hungary, the Ministry of Finance submitted a credit request to the China Exim Bank with respect to the construction of the Hungarian section of the Budapest-Belgrade railway line, Finance Minister Mihály Varga announced.
Minister Mihály Varga
Hungary   Minister Mihály Varga
The credit contract can be signed once the application has been assessed; therefore, with the planning and planning permission phase, the implementation of the project may begin.

The contract for the modernisation of the Soroksár–Kelebia railway line was signed with the main contractors responsible for the implementation of the project on 24 May, and will take effect upon the approval of the credit contract entered into with China Exim Bank, Mr Varga stressed.

He said according to the international agreement on the project, 85 per cent of the project will be financed from credit, while the remaining 15 per cent will be supplied by the Hungarian State from own resources.

The planning and planning permission phase may begin after the conclusion of the credit contract.

The goal is to complete the construction of the railway line by 2023.

In the interest of meeting this deadline, the government wishes to simplify the necessary procedures, and will enable the competent authorities to issue the required licences and permissions within the framework of expedited procedures.

The modernisation of the railway line between Belgrade and Budapest – one of the Central and Eastern European region’s most important infrastructure projects – will be implemented with financial and technical contributions from China, Mr Varga stressed, highlighting that this logistic corridor will offer the fastest transport route between China and Europe’s Western half.

The project will connect our region to one of the most significant routes of world trade as part of the Belt and Road Initiative.

According to the Minister, in addition to the fact that the railway line will contribute to the extension of scarce North-South railway links in Central and Eastern Europe, it is also an important consideration that Chinese businesses will forward the bulk of the goods intended for Europe from the Port of Piraeus to the continent by rail, and without this project Hungary would fall behind in the competition for transport routes.