A delegation from the China Association for Promoting International Economic & Technical Cooperation visited Oslo to discuss a potential project that would see a high-speed railway link Stockholm with Oslo in under three hours, reported Swedish radio Severige.
“We discussed how China can assist, possibly, with funding and expansion capacity and competence,” said Alf S. Johansen of the Bordercomittee of Värmland-Østfold.
One component of the project calls for rebuilding and repairing existing railways, estimated around €5.1 billion. The second, more costly, alternative involves building an entirely new railway system valued at €17.1 billion.
Beijing’s investments in the EU continue to climb, which increased by a shocking 76 percent in 2016, alone.
“It’s in Norway and Sweden’s, as well as China’s, interests to build a profitable, safe, environmentally friendly and fast high-speed rail between Oslo and Stockholm. This will contribute to better cooperation in the Nordic region and faster development” said Huang Xin, the leader of the Chinese delegation in an interview with the Norwegian Dagsavisen daily.
While Norway has been receptive to the Beijing proposal, Sweden appears to be lukewarm to the offer, with debates in the country focusing mainly on Beijing’s growing investments linked to port construction plans in Lysekil.
The project could be profitable after only a few years, as the project’s main target would be commuters who usually fly between the two cities, said Johansen.