The Belgrade-Budapest railway will contribute to high-quality Belt and Roads Initiative (BRI) cooperation between China and Europe, China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin said in a statement.

The Belgrade-Budapest railway, which links the capitals of Serbia and Hungary, is a key project under BRI and a flagship project of cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European countries, he added.

The inauguration of the Belgrade-Novi Sad section has reduced travel time between Belgrade and Novi Sad from over 90 minutes to 30 minutes. Since the past year, the railway has served more than 2.93 million passengers. 

On completion of the project, the rail trip between Belgrade and Budapest will be shortened from eight to three hours, Wenbin added.

In November 2017, Reuters reported that the estimated cost of the high-speed rail link was 3.2 billion euros ($3.80 billion) and was slated to become the main transport route for Chinese goods, which arrive by sea at the Greek port of Piraeus to other parts of Europe.

(Writing by P Deol; Editing by Anoop Menon)