This transaction is excellent news as we are gaining an ideal partner for the sustainable growth of our business. The fund has net assets of $C 240bn ($US 179bn), enjoys the best credit ratings, has invested in nearly 4000 companies around the world, and is recognised as investing in the long-term future of companies. CDPQ's investment in us shows that they have confidence in our strategy and in our sound business fundamentals.

Laurent Troger BombardierAs the recently-appointed president of Bombardier Transportation I wish to continue to focus our strategic development on four priorities, and I'm happy to say that CPDQ fully supports our strategy. First, we are investing heavily in innovation, the key differentiator from our competitors. Secondly, we are making steady progress to increase our competiveness by making Bombardier Transportation faster, leaner and more profitable. Thirdly, in order to meet evolving market demand, we are making our product portfolio more modular, with a focus on development time, costs, and risk. Lastly, we are strengthening our high-growth segments, ranging from signalling and services to entry-level products for emerging markets.

Our competitive landscape is changing. On-going industry consolidation will intensify competition worldwide. However, I am convinced that our strategy to provide sustainable and high-tech products that perform and optimise our customers' operating costs over their entire life cycle will prevail.

How will customers be affected by such consolidation? They might benefit from intensifying competition on the OEM side, which will drive prices down. However, we also see an accelerating tendency for our customers to evaluate the offers they receive differently. It is no longer only about selecting the supplier with the cheapest purchase price. Operators nowadays are incorporating factors such as energy consumption, the long-term performance of a product and its quality, reliability and maintainability. These play a major role when it comes to the total cost of ownership (TCO) of a product.

The demand for rail services is at an all-time high for all segments. And with global megatrends such as population growth, growing urbanisation and environmental concerns, the market is expected to grow at 2.7% per year over the next five years, despite continued global economic uncertainty.

We expect stronger growth in signalling and services. The latter will become more accessible due to ongoing liberalisation and outsourcing. However, competition will be intense.

We are fully engaged in South America, and while Bombardier Transportation already has a strong presence in countries such as Mexico and Brazil, we also focus on strengthening our position in other Latin American countries.

Our product portfolio covers the entire range of rail products and we are certain that, despite Chinese competition, we will convince our customers with quality, reliability and service. In addition, due to our broad experience in managing complete turnkey systems and a product portfolio that is focused on providing best value for money in a TCO approach, we have a strong competitive advantage compared with Chinese suppliers.

Nevertheless, we understand that in emerging markets, the affordability of an urban transit project is vital, especially in fast-growing South American cities. We are currently working on the affordability of our product platforms while keeping the focus on high capacity, safety and performance.

TCO is a very sensible and economical approach, and we see this trend in both mature and emerging markets. Manufacturers are increasingly taking responsibility beyond the mere production of rolling stock to ensure availability and reliability throughout its life.

HamburgWe also understand that some customers are hesitant to outsource vehicle maintenance to the manufacturer, especially when they have such capacities in-house. Our FlexCare maintenance model, which we already provide to our Austrian customers in Linz, Vienna, and Innsbruck, allows operators to use their own personnel and depots to perform maintenance, based on a tailored maintenance plan provided by us. We take full responsibility for fleet maintenance, guarantee a high availability and provide a clear and transparent forecast of maintenance costs, which gives our customers budget certainty for the contract period.

Shift2Rail is an absolute key driver for rail research in Europe. I expect Shift2Rail to enable us to make significant improvements in passenger experience, reliability and availability, infrastructure capacity increase, safety, energy consumption, and lifecycle costs. With an investment of nearly €1bn, this is the first time that the rail sector is jointly taking on our most important challenges.

I have one word to describe the industry response: overwhelming. The programme budget for the associate members was over-subscribed by 60%. In addition, the mixture of established rail industry players of various sizes, operators and research institutes is unique and will provide a best possible incubation of ideas and concepts. And I must say all the parties involved are very pro-active.

I believe that standardisation could make rail transport more efficient. First of all in terms of costs, as it would lead to a significant scale effect, not only for total cost of ownership, but also for the homologation process. Secondly, it would allow us to reduce our time to market, while quality is a third major advantage.

However, there will continue to be a need for customisation. With rail, every environment is unique, and to a much higher degree than with any other means of transport.

Nevertheless, it would be utopian to think of a railway vehicle or system as a mere assembly of standardised items. Indeed, future breakthroughs will come from a more integrated approach to match railway systems with their environment and by combining truly different knowledge domains, such as design, cloud technology and cyber security.

The outstanding aim of the Fourth Railway Package is to establish the European Railway Agency (ERA) as the one-stop-shop for the authorisation of new railway projects in Europe. Especially for rolling stock, we see a strong need for a predictable and reliable process to obtain the certificate for putting trains and locomotives into service, and we are convinced that the roles and processes defined by the Fourth Railway Package lay out the right framework to achieve this.

However, rail vehicle authorisation is complex and requires expertise. There is a fine line between creating real improvement and creating more complexity. The new provisions and effects of the upcoming vehicle authorisation process need to pass the respective "field tests". ERA, together with the National Safety Authorities, will have to establish adequate capacity and provide guidance to successfully apply these processes.

The main objectives for the next few months are to review and reduce the National Notified Technical Rules and to further develop the Technical Specifications for Interoperability (TSIs) towards a lean and consistent set of requirements supported by European Standards.