China in talks with 28 countries on high-speed rail

China is currently in talks with 28 countries about high-speed rail projects, China CNR Corporation claimed yesterday.

Yu Weiping, one of the the state-owned train manufacturer’s vice presidents, added that some of those projects are in very early stages of discussion.

"(The) promising projects are the one in Russia, Thailand, and India. For the Moscow to Kazan line, China and Russia have formed a task force to work on it," Yu said during a visit to one of the company’s factories in Tangshan city in northeastern China, reports newspaper The South China Morning Post (SCMP).

His claim comes as China is demanding recompense for a cancelled $3.7bn high-speed rail scheme in Mexico, in which CNR was involved as a consortium member, and as negotiations for two new conventional rail lines in Thailand have encountered difficulties.

SCMP reports that, although Beijing has been promoting its high-speed rail technology hard, China has yet to sell high-speed trains that run at 300 km/h anywhere outside China.

High-speed rail markets in Southeast Asia and Russia would be the focus of CNR’s expansion this year, said Yu.

For the line connecting Moscow and Kazan, Yu said CNR has submitted the route and local manufacturing plan to Russia. 

"So far, the successful rate for CNR’s bidding for overseas project is around 50 to 60 per cent," he said. 

CNR’s rivals might include Germany’s Siemens, Alstom of France, Bombardier of Canada.

Yu said CNR faced challenges abroad that other companies didn’t. "The main challenges for us to expand in foreign markets are trade barriers, different manufacturing standards, diplomatic factors, higher fund-raising costs for Chinese companies as well as the inconvenience caused by our working visa limits," he said.

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