Monday, October 24, 2011

Chinese to build railway to Eilat

Israeli, Chinese governments to sign memorandum of understanding for construction of 180-kilometer railway from Nahal Tzin to southern resort city

Ofer Petersburg
Israel Business

Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz met with his Chinese counterpart in Beijing recently, and the two agreed to cooperate in the construction of a railway to the southern Israeli city of Eilat.

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The Israeli and Chinese governments will sign a memorandum of understanding for the construction of a 180-kilometer (112-mile) railway from Nahal Tzin to Eilat. Before leaving on his trip, Minister Katz discussed the advancement of transportation projects with China with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The minister plans to further the Eilat railway law.

Charlie Solomon, the ministry's deputy director-general for economics and planning, who was part of the minister's delegation, has been tasked with drafting a cooperation document with his Chinese counterpart.

According to Katz, his visit to China led to a breakthrough in the advancement of transportation initiatives with the transportation superpower. Israel plans to invest NIS 100 billion in roads and trains in the next five years, and the Chinese are to have a significant part in the projects.

Many Chinese companies specializing in infrastructure will send representatives to Israel to conduct the work. It has been reported recently that the Chinese will also set up the Haifa-Carmiel railway, after the successful construction of the Carmel Tunnels.

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