China Railways CRH5 at Qinhuangdao. Photo 颐园新居.
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Poland’s Transport Minister, Slawomir Nowak, has concluded a 5 day official visit to China. The visit took place at the invitation of China’s Transport Minister, Li Shenglin. The Polish delegation included Poland’s rail minister, Andrzej Massel, and the head of Poland’s Information and Foreign Investment Agency (PAIiIZ), Sławomir Majman. Other members of his delegation included representatives of PKP PLK, PKP Cargo, LHS, DCT, and the ports of Gdansk, Gdynia and Szczecin-Swinoujscie.
In China key meetings took place with the Deputy Minister for Trade, Zhong Shanan, and the Deputy Minister of Transport, Weng Mengyong, Other important meeting took place with representatives of some of China’s largest transport companies : China Shipping Container Lines, Cosco Shipping Line & Cosco Freight Forwarding Company, Shanghai Electric and the GeoHarbour Group.
Is it significant that meetings appear to have only taken place at deputy minister level? The official website of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Chinese Transport Ministry – always keen to promote China to the rest of the world – are strangely silent on Nowak’s visit.
The purpose of the visit was to promote Poland as an attractive country for investment and a good place to do business in. Given the rapid transformation of China’s railways over the last two decade it is remarkable that no meetings appear to have been held with Chinese locomotive and rolling stock manufacturers, or with Chinese railway construction companies.
It is too early yet to judge whether the visit will succeed in its aims and improve relations between the two countries; a relationship which is still soured by mutual recriminations over the collapse of the Covec contract for building part of the A2 motorway.
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