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Business trends

Catalyst or catastrophe? Lessons from Asia's high-speed rail failures

Spurring growth with ambitious projects requires far more than financing

A collision on a high-speed train in Wenzhou, China, in 2011 killed 40 people.   © Reuters

SEOUL/BANGKOK/JAKARTA -- Several governments in Asia have embarked on high-speed rail developments to boost economies and enhance prestige, but such high-investment projects come with considerable risks.

Pioneered in Japan and popularized in China, high-speed rail can spur economic growth by integrating different areas into one economic zone.

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