Bridge Across The Danube: China’s First Big European Project Opens in Belgrade

New Belgrade bridge opened after major summit symbolises growing business links between China and the Balkans.

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The first big infrastructure project in Europe built by a Chinese company is due to be opened today in Belgrade, Serbia,

The Mihajlo Pupin bridge crosses the Danube to the west of the city centre and is the first bridge built across the river in the Serbian capital for 79 years. Photo Twitter.

The first new bridge built across the Danube in Belgrade for 79 years opened on schedule this afternoon.

Named after the physicist Mihajlo Pupin – the scientist and inventor and founder member of what became NASA – the 1.5km bridge crosses to the west of the city and will primarily divert transit trucks from the city centre.

Pupin’s Bridge is the first of many major infrastructure projects to be financed and built by Chinese companies in Europe.

China’s Prime Minister Li Keqiang cut the ribbon.

The ceremony also marked the end of The Third Summit of China and Central and Eastern European Countries held this week in Belgrade.

Sixteen regional heads of government and 5,000 delegates attended.

Headline news was the signing of contracts to build a new high speed rail line between Belgrade and Budapest but scores of other agreements were made including thirteen with Serbia alone.

The new contracts include telecommunications, agriculture and energy but many are for new roads.

The China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) is currently engaged on the Corridor XI motorway from Belgrade south towards the Montenegro border.

The Montenegrin government announced last week that CCCC will build the first and most difficult section of Bar-Boljare motorway – from the Adriatic coast to eventually connect with Corridor XI – starting next year.

As with Pupin’s Bridge, 85% of the finance will come from China’s Exim bank.

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Aston on Ice has moved from St Moritz to Arvidsjaur in northern Sweden we are pleased to report.

Aston Martin’s ‘On Ice’ driving event has moved from its traditional base in St Moritz. After a disappointing – and horrifically expensive – stay in the summer, we say the gloss is long gone from one of Switzerland’s previously premier resorts. Instead, Aston’s adventurous customers will be travelling to Arvidsjaur in northern Sweden over February-March 2015 for four four-day advanced training courses with 15 hours behind the wheel on the 15km frozen lake track. Price: €6395 per person.

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