Unasur Leader: Bioceanic Railroad Will Integrate All of South America
Oct. 27, 2016 (EIRNS)—In a press conference in La Paz today, following his meeting with Bolivian President Evo Morales, Ernesto Samper Pizano, Secretary General of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), underscored the importance of the proposed bioceanic railroad as a continental integration project, which will provide needed economic benefits to the nations involved.
Samper emphasized that while the train will be "the backbone of the Bolivian economy," the project is a multinational one, which will involve countries such as Brazil, Argentina, Peru, and now, most likely Paraguay, whose government has proposed joining the project by building a rail line to connect the bioceanic route with the Parana-Paraguay Waterway.
"This is a project we support," he said, and reported that President Morales has given him the green light to pursue Chinese financing for the project, possibly through credits China has offered to the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac) and Unasur for regional projects, the daily La Razón reported. Samper said that Unasur will explore with China the possibility of building "regional trains" as well, to unite all nations of the region.
The Unasur leader particularly praised Evo Morales for his leadership in promoting regional integration through the proposed railroad at a moment of "certain desperation about the regional economic crisis," Sputnik reported. Samper invited the nations of the region to join the project, and to seek integration "instead of disintegration." This is a project "of integration, of union," he affirmed.
It’s estimated that by 2021, the 3,700-kilometer railroad will carry 7 million passengers and almost 10 million tons of cargo, a figure that would increase to 24 million tons by 2055. The estimated cost of the project is $10 billion.