Chinese-built railway to revitalize Serbian economy: President

Aerial photo taken on April 23, 2022 shows the Belgrade-Novi Sad section of the Belgrade-Budapest railway in Belgrade, Serbia. [Photo/Xinhua]

NOVI SAD, Serbia -- The Serbia section of the Chinese-built Belgrade-Budapest railway, once completed, will prove to be of immense importance for the country's economy and local development, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has said on Saturday.

Vucic, accompanied by Serbian Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure Goran Vesic and Chinese Ambassador to Serbia Chen Bo, visited the village of Stepanovicevo, where the railway section connecting Novi Sad and Subotica is under construction.

Vucic pointed out the importance of the high-speed railway for developing industry, business and tourism, and attracting investors to North Serbia.

Vucic said that the railway "is important to us because of the development of the north part of our country, as well as to tourism in (towns of) Palic, Topola ... and the further progress of all settlements along the route."

"The construction of the Belgrade-Budapest railway is significant not only for the development of Serbia but also for the connectivity improvement between this region and other parts of Europe and Asia," Chen said, praising the broader significance of the project.

The Belgrade-Budapest railway, about 350-km-long, is one of the flagship projects within China's Belt and Road Initiative at this part of Europe, and a result of the deepening of the cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries (CEECs).

The first section of the railway in Serbia, about 75-km-long, between Belgrade and Serbia's second largest city Novi Sad, was already in operation in March 2022, carrying trains at speed of up to 200 km per hour. Constructions of the second section, 108.1-km-long, between Novi Sad and Subotica started in November 2021.

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