Biggest Chinese train maker eyes PH projects
China’s biggest train maker is sounding off to the Duterte administration that it wants to do more business here while offering larger investments that include a manufacturing plant in a country it described as a “valued friend and neighbor.”
State-run CRRC Dalian revealed these plans when its officials recently visited the Philippines to affirm their “solid intent” to modernize the country’s aging railway system, the company said in a statement.
The move comes as President Duterte, in several rhetoric-laden speeches, appeared to favor friendlier ties with China—at the expense of long-standing relations with the United States and the EU.
The statements were made even as an international tribunal in the Hague last July favored the Philippines in deciding that China had no legal basis to claim most of the South China Sea.
CRRC Dalian is part of the same group that won a 2014 bid to supply 48 new train coaches to the congested Metro Rail Transit Line 3 in Metro Manila.
The Duterte administration, with its P1-trillion plan to build more railway systems within the next six years, including the country’s first subway system in the traffic-strangled capital, was shaping up to be fertile ground for infrastructure companies seeking to expand their business.
“We have overtaken our rivals from Europe, Asia and North America in their traditional markets so it will not make sense for us to fail in a country we consider a valued friend and neighbor,” Chuanyi Zhou, CRRC Dalian deputy general manager, said in the statement.
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