Hun­gary inks $2.1B loan agree­ment with China for first ma­jor Belt and Road in­fra­struc­ture pro­ject in Eu­rope

Hungarian officials on a diving platform prepare for search and salvaging operations in the Danube River in central Budapest, Hungary, on June 6, 2019, for the sunken sightseeing boat that led to 18 deaths of South Korean tourists and left eight others missing. (Yonhap). Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

BUDAPEST, Jun 26, 2020, CBN. The Cen­tral Eu­ro­pean na­tion of Hun­gary has en­tered a USD$2.1 bil­lion loan agree­ment with China for the mod­erni­sa­tion of the rail line link­ing the Hun­gar­ian cap­i­tal of Bu­dapest with Bel­grade in Ser­bia, China Banking News reported.

The rail­way up­grade is the first ma­jor Belt and Road in­fra­struc­ture pro­ject in Eu­rope, and Hun­gary’s sec­ond most ex­pen­sive in­fra­struc­ture pro­ject af­ter its Paks nu­clear plant.

Hun­gary it­self will cover 15% of the costs for the up­grade of the rail link be­tween Bu­dapest and the Ser­bian cap­i­tal of Bel­grade, which was built around four decades ago.

Upon com­ple­tion the up­graded route will be part of a broader net­work con­nect­ing Greece’s Pi­raeus port with the rest of both Eu­rope and the Eurasian con­ti­nent.

“It’s im­por­tant for us to de­velop this net­work, not just for our­selves but of course this freight will flow fur­ther to Aus­tria, to Ger­many, to Slo­va­kia and into Eu­rope,” said György Fir­bás, a Hun­gar­ian trans­port lo­gi­cian, to Chi­nese state-owned me­dia.

“This is the old­est and the least mod­ern, the most out­dated part of the Hun­gar­ian net­work that is still in every­day heavy freight use.”

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