South America’s Bi-Oceanic Railroad Will Connect to the ‘Economic Dynamism’ of the Asia-Pacific
Jan. 26, 2017 (EIRNS)—In a press conference yesterday, Bolivian Vice President Álvaro García Linera presented an exciting perspective on the potential of the Central Bi-Oceanic Rail Corridor (CFBC), which, when built, will link the Peruvian port of Ilo on the Pacific with the Brazilian port of Santos on the Atlantic, traversing Bolivia. He spoke just as the public works ministers of Paraguay and Bolivia, Ramón Jiménez Gaona and Milton Claros, respectively, joined by Peru’s Vice President and Transportation Minister Martín Vizcarra, were meeting in Berlin with Rainer Bomba, Secretary of Transportation and Digital Infrastructure, to discuss financing of the project.
When the CFBC is built, García explained, it will "not only connect the central part of our country with a modern rail system, but will also connect the Brazilian, Paraguayan, and part of the Argentine economies with those of Peru and the Asia-Pacific, primarily China, Korea, Japan, and India, which today constitute the new epicenter of economic dynamism of the 21st Century," Abya Yala-TV reported.
The financing of the CFBC, estimated to cost $10 billion, remains to be pinned down. Last December, China’s ambassador to Bolivia, Wu Yunshuan, said that China wants to collaborate on the project, and indicated it could offer "up to" $40 billion in financing, while stipulating that this would depend on the scope and quality of the project. In his remarks yesterday, García Linera reported that China "on several occasions" had indicated its willingness to finance the project. He also reported that he expects negotiations with Brazil to be concluded in the next few months. Brazilian participation has been on hold since last August’s coup against President Dilma Rousseff.
At the conclusion of yesterday’s Berlin meeting, Rainer Bomba pledged his government’s "full support" for the Bi-Oceanic project, and pledged to "find investors" to finance it. He also announced that his office will set up a branch in one of the three South American nations involved, in order to coordinate more closely on the CFBC. Aside from German government officials, German and Swiss railroad executives also participated in the meeting, representing Fichtner, Molinari Rail AG, Stadler Pankow GmbH, and Gauff.