Brazil, China agree on Trans-Latin American railway project

Brazil and Peru closely working with China on outlining of railway project which will traverse Latin America from Atlantic to Pacific coast

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Latin American countries Brazil and Peru are planning to construct a railway between the respective countries which is said to be being built with the assistance of China, according to a report published by Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper on Tuesday.

The proposed railway line will cross the whole continent by linking Brazil's Atlantic coastline with the Pacific Ocean in Peru in order to boost commercial ties and socio-cultural interactions between Latin American peoples.

The cost of the railway is estimated about at least 10 billion dollars according to preliminary feasibility reports and Chinese business is expected to undertake some sections of the project.

The project, dubbed the Transoceanic or Trans-Latin American Railway, first came to fore after Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff and her Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping signed 30 cooperation agreements in areas such as commerce, education, energy and transportation in July 2014.

The parties then agreed on the construction of a Chinese-Brazilian railway which would provide the shipment of Brazilian goods and commodities, mostly grains, to China via the Andes route to Peru on the Pacific coast.

In parallel to its increasing demand for raw materials, China has recently increased its economic presence in Latin America and became one of the significant trade partners of the continent’s emerging economies including Brazil, Argentina and Mexico.

The trade volume between Beijing and Brasilia reached nearly 80 billion dollars by the end of 2014, which makes China the biggest commercial partner of Brazil.

China and Brazil also closely cooperate with the BRICS, the acronym for an association of five major emerging markets including Russia, India and South Africa.

China has recently also surpassed the US in becoming the largest trade partner of Peru, the Andean nation which was perceived as an economic gate by Beijing to further open up to the Hispanic America  through the Pacific coast.

The railway line is expected to be unveiled next month as part of Rousseff's new infrastructure projects to further accelerate Brazil’s sustainable development.

The envisaged train route will enable commodities and people to be transported more quickly to Latin American major ports, such as Santos in São Paulo state and Acu in Rio de Janeiro, through bypassing the Panama Canal in the north.

Brazil’s re-elected President Dilma Rousseff, who has been struggling with a bribery scandal at state-run oil company Petrobras since last year, regards the country’s huge infrastructure projects as an economic and political tool for securing Brazil’s role as regional leader in Latin America.

TRTWorld and agencies