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Railway equipment exports surge 22.6% in 2014

2015-02-05 09:10 Global Times Web Editor: Qin Dexing

Totaled $4.3b due to advanced technology, cheaper costs

China's railway equipment exports surged by nearly 23 percent in 2014, customs data showed Wednesday, as the country encourages exports of its railway technology.

China exported 26.8 billion yuan ($4.3 billion) worth of railway equipment in 2014, up 22.6 percent from 2013, data from the General Administration of Customs (GAC) showed.

Exports of railway and electric locomotives rose 13.3 percent to 15.5 billion yuan, accounting for 57.7 percent of total railway equipment exports, customs data showed.

China's railway technology is advanced compared with that of other countries, and the costs are lower, which led to a rapid increase in exports, Zhao Jian, a professor at Beijing Jiaotong University, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

According to a research report released by the World Bank in December 2014, ticket prices for China's railway is about one-quarter of those in other countries, signifying the lower cost of China's railway construction.

The GAC also attributed the increase to Chinese firms' efforts in exploring overseas markets as a "numbers of overseas investment projects led by Chinese firms brought on large orders of railway equipment export," Zhang Guangzhi, spokesman of GAC, was quoted as saying in a press release sent to the Global Times on Wednesday.

For instance, China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) signed a contract with Nigeria's Ministry of Transport in November 2014 to build a $12 billion railway along Nigeria's coast, which is expected to bring along equipment exports worth $4 billion, Xinhua News Agency reported on November 20, 2014.

Based on the development of China's railway technology and the launch of the "One Belt, One Road" strategy, railway equipment exports are expected to continue rapid growth in 2015, Zhang Zhuting, a professor at the Transport Management Institute under the Ministry of Transport, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

The One Belt, One Road strategy, which refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, was proposed by President Xi Jinping in late 2013. It was designed to strengthen infrastructure including railway construction in countries and regions along the routes.

According to a statement released following a State Council meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on January 28, China aims to explore overseas markets to export its railway equipment, which will be a new growth point for the country's foreign trade.

Chinese companies can provide services including design and consulting, construction, equipment supply, operation and maintenance of railways, the statement said.

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