Mega railway begins construction
A mega railway to be built by China was officially launched on Wednesday in the Malaysian city of Kuantan, a milestone for China-Malaysia ties as China pushed forward the Belt and Road Initiative. At a cost of 55 billion ringgit ($12.83 billion), the 688-km East Coast Rail Link will help upgrade public transportation infrastructure in the east coast, said Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak when inaugurating the groundbreaking ceremony of the project. The ECRL is the first artery railway built in the east coast, which has been connected to the west coast only “via a network of roads and highways, and small rail lines that were woefully inadequate.” Describing the project as a game-changer for Malaysia, Najib said it will significantly cut travel time from Gombak in suburban Kuala Lumpur to Kota Baru in the northeastern state of Kelantan from seven to four hours. participation in Iran’s railway and power plant projects,” Deputy Minister of Road and Urban Development for International Affairs, Asghar Fakhriyeh-Kashan, was quoted as saying. In the rail sector, Iran is going to buy wagons from Siemens, to use on a high-speed line between the capital Teheran and the central cities of Qom and Isfahan, Fakhriyeh-Kashan said. Siemens will also provide signaling equipment and install communication signs, he added. In addition, Siemens plans to enter into a joint venture with Iran’s MAPNA Group, both in the power plant and locomotive manufacturing sector, in order to boost domestic production, he said. in June compared to May, according to the Federal Statistical Office. The slump exceeded economists’ projections for a slight decrease and constituted the biggest fall since August 2015. Imports fell even further, by 4.5 percent during the same period, which was the worst figure since January 2009. In total, German firms sold goods worth 107.2 billion euros ($126.58 billion) in June, which still marked a slight increase of 0.7 percent yearon-year. Trade with other Eurozone countries grew by 2.7 percent, further underlining the bloc’s strengthening economic recovery. Exports to countries outside the European Union, such as the United States and China, fell by 1.7 percent.