March 24, 2020 / 2:53 PM / 14 days ago

Poland's PKP Cargo pins its hopes on China's recovery from virus

WARSAW, March 24 (Reuters) - Poland’s state-run PKP Cargo , one of Europe’s biggest rail freight companies, hopes to benefit from an expected rebound in cargoes when China’s economy recovers from the coronavirus outbreak, the company’s CEO said on Tuesday.

China is trying to revive an economy that is expected to contract deeply in the current quarter, as some restrictions are eased.

Still, numerous shops and restaurants remain shut, many have gone out of business and factories and other workplaces are not operating at full capacity.

“We hear that factories in China are starting to work and rail has an advantage here. We are able to deliver cargo faster and time will be key in that respect,” PKP Cargo Chief Executive Czeslaw Warsewicz told a video conference.

PKP Cargo, which competes mostly with Germany’s DB Cargo, had planned last year to launch a company or office in China, to take advantage of China’s Belt and Road project, which is rebuilding the old Silk Road to connect Asia, Europe and beyond.

But it suspended the project because of the novel coronavirus, the company’s spokesman said.

The chief executive said the company’s operations have not been affected by the coronavirus outbreak yet, but it has significantly reduced its capital expenditure plans for this year because of the uncertainty. (Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko; editing by Barbara Lewis)

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