MTR Corporation’s (00066.HK) outgoing chairman expressed satisfaction at the strides made by the rail operator over the years and said he has no regrets about his tenure in the company.
Raymond Ch’ien Kuo-fung, who will step down as chairman on Thursday after serving in that capacity since July 2003, said MTR has notched impressive growth despite some setbacks recently.
Once operating a local rail network of less than 100 kilometers, the company has now transformed itself into an international firm that manages 1,000 kilometers of rail lines, Ch’ien said on Tuesday.
Commenting on problems faced in the Hong Kong-Guangzhou high-speed rail link, Ch’ien said several factors were behind the delays and cost-overruns in the Hong Kong section of the project.
There had been unforeseeable factors such as geological issues and worker shortages, he said, but admitted that some mistakes had been made in relation to the express link.
MTR was very confident at the early stage as it gave out contracts for the construction of five new links and extensions, said Ch’ien.
However, there had been some flaws in the internal reporting system which prevented the board of directors from knowing promptly about the delays in the construction work, he said.
Ch’ien stressed that MTR’s reputation has not been dented in the international arena.
Separately the government clarified that the plan to have four stops on the express link between Hong Kong and Guangzhou, with a total journey time target of 48 minutes, has not changed.
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