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CRRC eyes big overseas contracts

( China Daily )

Updated: 2017-01-20

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CRRC eyes big overseas contracts

A worker guides bullet trains at a rail depot in Qingdao, Shandong province, in preparation for the Spring Festival travel peak. [Photo by Tang Ke/For China Daily]

CRRC Corp, China's only maker of high-speed locomotives, is aiming to exceed its record high in overseas contracts this year, after clinching projects such as a $1.3 billion rail-car contract from Chicago's transport authorities in 2016.

The company is speeding up building its international business and will target developed markets including US cities such as Boston, CRRC Chairman Liu Hualong said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday.

"Profitability of overseas contracts is not worse than for domestic projects," said Liu. He said that it would also seek overseas acquisitions, especially to break into hard-to-penetrate markets like Europe.

CRRC's overseas revenue more than doubled to 26.4 billion yuan ($3.9 billion) in 2016, the most for the Beijing-based company on record and making up 11 percent of its overall sales.

The Chinese government combined former train-makers CSR Corp and China CNR Corp to form CRRC in 2015, in a bid to better compete with Germany's Siemens AG and France's Alstom SA.

Home to the world's biggest high-speed rail network, China has identified the sector as one of 10 focus industries in a blueprint for economic development.

The train-maker will also focus on projects connected with the Belt and Road Initiative this year, Liu said. The plan involves expanding infrastructure along ancient trading routes through Europe, Asia and Africa.