Hyperloop project goes to China

Hyperloop tubes are displayed during the first test of the propulsion system at the Hyperloop One Test and Safety site in North Las Vegas, Nevada. (File photo AFP)
Updated 19 July 2018

Hyperloop project goes to China

BEIJING: Hyperloop Transportation Technologies said Thursday it will team up with a southwestern Chinese city to build a new 10-kilometer (six-mile) test track for its high speed hyperloop transportation system.
California-based HyperloopTT is one of several ventures to take Elon Musk’s idea for a new type of transport system propelling capsules through vacuum-sealed tunnels and attempt to make it a reality.
It has struck similar agreements with several other countries, with construction of its first capsules — intended to magnetically levitate in low friction tubes — underway at its innovation center in France.
The remote city of Tongren in China’s impoverished Guizhou province will host the latest demonstration project, according to the plans.
“China leads the world in the amount of high-speed rail constructed by far, and now they are looking for a more efficient high speed solution in hyperloop,” HyperloopTT chairman Bibop Gresta said in a press release.
“We have spent the past few years finding the right partners to work with in China and now, with a strong base network of relationships in place, we are ready to begin work to create the system,” he added.
Financing for the project may be hard to come by as Beijing takes aim at local government spending and a growing mountain of debt.
HyperloopTT said financing would come from a public-private partnership, with Tongren directly contributing 50 percent of the funds.
“HyperloopTT will be responsible for providing technology, engineering expertise, and essential equipment,” the company said, without providing further details.
Local Chinese media, citing the agreement, said Tongren and HyperloopTT would invest in the new local joint-venture building the demonstration track on a one-to-one basis.
State-owned China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp. (CASIC), a major aerospace company, is also looking to pioneer the next generation of high-speed train technology in China, and last year announced a similiar hyperloop project in the city of Wuhan.


Global trade experts gather in Riyadh as virus crisis heats up

Updated 24 February 2020

Global trade experts gather in Riyadh as virus crisis heats up

  • More than 1,000 international companies set up operations in Saudi Arabia last year

RIYADH: World trade experts are gathering in Riyadh for a major conference as the coronavirus crisis casts a shadow over global commerce.

The Asia House Trade Dialogue takes place on Tuesday in the Saudi Arabian capital, with thought leaders and policymakers taking part in the first such event to be staged in the Kingdom. Around 200 delegates are expected to attend the one-day forum.

Leading thinkers will share their insights on global trade, women’s growing role in business, and the energy industry moving toward renewable technologies. There will also be a live link with a Beijing-based expert on Chinese business to discuss the economic effects of the virus.

Asia House is a London-based consultancy which is headed by the former British trade minister and chairman of the HSBC banking group, Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint. He said: “With Saudi Arabia hosting the G20 this year, we believe it is an important time to bring our trade dialogue to Riyadh to explore the economic shifts taking place in the region and beyond.”

The event is sponsored by the Saudi British Bank, whose chair Lubna Olayan will deliver the keynote speech.

She said: “Trade has historically always been important to the development of the Kingdom, and that is equally true today as the Far East and the Middle East are once again becoming increasingly connected, and we begin a year in which Saudi Arabia leads the G20, with deliberations around trade and investment being a major focus of the B20 (the business arm of G20 summit of world leaders). It is truly an exciting time, so we are pleased to be jointly hosting this important event to explore opportunities for enhancing and facilitating growing trade links between the Far East and the Middle East.”

The conference will be opened by Ibrahim Al-Omar, the governor of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority, the body which promotes foreign investment in the Kingdom. Arab News is the strategic media partner for the event.

Lord Green said: “The Middle East remains an extremely important region for global trade, especially as the Gulf broadens its relationships with Asian markets. Just last year, more than 1,000 international companies set up new operations in Saudi Arabia, highlighting business interest in the Kingdom.”

Victor Gao, who is vice president of the Beijing-based Center for China and Globalization, will answer questions via web link about the impact of coronavirus on the Chinese economy.

Saudi Arabia launched its G20 presidency last December with a declaration of its program, which seeks to support innovation, achieve prosperity, empower people and preserve the planet, in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan.

King Salman hailed the G20 presidency as proof of the country’s key role in the global economy.