MTRC capitalizes on strong Beijing contacts

Local | Cindy Wan 26 Oct 2018

MTR Corporation has signed a memorandum with Beijing's metro operator to improve railway standards.

MTRC was represented by managing director of operations and mainland business Jacob Kam Chak-pui, who attended the 22nd Beijing-Hong Kong Economic Cooperation Symposium and signed the agreement yesterday.

On the other side were Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport, Beijing Infrastructure Investment Corp and Beijing MTR Corp.

They agreed to establish a cooperation mechanism to enhance railway facilities and services on Beijing Subway lines four, 14, 16 and the Daxing Line.

These lines are operated by the Beijing MTR Corp, a joint venture between MTRC and two Beijing companies.

Kam expressed his gratitude to Beijing's municipal government for its support for the agreement, saying MTRC is looking forward to improving Beijing's subway with technology from Hong Kong and the world.

He also said MTRC agreed to a large extent with the direction of the SAR government's suggestion to assess the North South Line platform at Hung Hom station.

The rail operator hopes to roll out an assessment plan approved by railway experts and start examining the station as soon as possible, he said.

Yesterday morning, MTRC's Tseung Kwan O and Kwun Tong lines only provided partial services from 6am due to a signaling problem. However, both lines began functioning normally at 7.05am and 6.45am, respectively.

Asked if MTRC has plans to compensate passengers for disrupted services due to frequent signaling problems, Kam said details are being discussed with the transport and housing bureau.

Apart from railway cooperation, private firms and organizations from Hong Kong and Beijing signed agreements relating to 15 projects worth US$3.5 billion (HK$27.3 billion). Most ventures are mutual investment projects.

One of the agreements covers the establishment in Beijing of a branch by Fitch Ratings which has its regional headquarters in Hong Kong.

One of the world's three biggest credit rating agencies, Fitch Ratings is expected to bring to Beijing Hong Kong's experience in financial services.

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology also signed an agreement with technology firm Megvii (Face++) to launch a laboratory at its campus and jointly work with the latter on artificial intelligence, computer vision and image recognition.

More than 15,687 enterprises have set up a presence in Beijing through Hong Kong since last month. The institutions are cumulatively investing almost US$80 billion.

Hong Kong has surpassed all regions and countries in terms of total investments in Beijing. Major investments are in the property, finance and computer services sectors.

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