Monday, December 9, 2013

Will the High Speed Singapore Bullet Train Still End Up in Sentul?

And here we go again... it's been on and off. It was one of the projects under the Mahathir premiership but was called off immediately after Abdullah Badawi took over. Now there is talk that the sterling relationship between current premier Najib and his Singaporean counterpart Lee may see the bullet train project revived. If YTL is still in favour then Sentul will see a boom even before the ground breaks for the project. Or it might just go to a crony with land bank in some god-forsaken place?

Italians keen to participate in KL-Singapore high-speed rail job

KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 10, 2013): The Italian Ministry of Economic Development is keen to participate in the development of the proposed high-speed railway (HSR) link between Malaysia and Singapore, said its Vice Minister of Economic Development Carlo Calenda.
"We have a strong HSR network in Italy. We also have a private company with a public company operating the (Milan-to-Rome) network and it was the first liberalisation in HSR in Europe. We have strong competence," he told reporters after a Malaysia-Italy business forum yesterday.
"Our territory (terrain) is very difficult for HSR because we have mountains and seismic problems, which were issues that have challenged us in the past. We have acquired very good know-how and we want to establish contact (with Malaysia) in this sector," he added.
Calenda said although his ministry has not started talks with its Malaysian counterpart yet, an Italian company involved in the electronics signal part of the railway business has had preliminary contact with Malaysia.
"What we would really like to do is to be part of the (proposed project's) preliminary phase because we can give you some good insights on how to develop this. It (HSR) would be an expensive project and a fantastic tool to build business," he said.
The HSR connecting Kuala Lumpur to Singapore will cover 330km and cost RM40 billion. It is expected to cut travel time between the two cities to 90 minutes.
Calenda, who is leading a 100-member business delegation for a two-day visit to Malaysia, said his ministry has outlined its focus for its next business mission in Malaysia to include sectors such as green chemical, ship building, consumer goods, biotechnology and health, in addition to HSR.
He said the Italian government is also keen to work in the consumer goods sector as there are segments of Italian consumer goods that are not represented here and it plans to bring these companies to Malaysia to explore investment opportunities here.
He said it has placed Malaysia at the centre of its promotional activity and aims to conclude an action plan for the next two years.
Calenda said the government's role is to continuously provide occasions for companies to meet and to highlight potential opportunities.
Currently, the total value of investments from Italian companies in Malaysia is between €200 million and €300 million (RM880 million and RM1.32 billion), involving 99 investments from 17 industrial sectors.
Calenda said exports from Italy to Malaysia for the first eight months this year stood at almost €700 million (RM3.08 billion).

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