Executive Intelligence Review


Panama’s High-Speed Rail Could Become an Inter-American Line under the Belt and Road

May 3, 2018 (EIRNS)—An opinion piece published today in La Estrella de Panamá under the headline “Panama’s Inter-American Train,” points to the proposed high-speed train to be built by China, extending from Panama City north to David, on the border with Costa Rica.

The author notes that some have complained that such a project doesn’t make sense, given the expense and more pressing domestic needs. But, this view

“doesn’t take into consideration the reality developing on the world scene, nor the process of trade globalization. The New Silk Road [is] a network of rail lines, ports and highways promoted by China on several continents... and that Road won’t be exhausted by the 450 km Panama-David line.”

It would be unrealistic “to think that China is interested in investing—or lending—$5 billion just to make Panamanians’ lives easier.”

In reality, the author continues, this line is

“a small segment of the connection that could well extend from the Mexican capital to Medellín (Colombia), almost 3,000 km, to end up uniting North and South America.”

It will

“increase activity at the ports on the shores of the Panama Canal, because it will be a valuable point of convergence and transfer of passengers and air, maritime and rail cargo—the only one on the continent.”

This, the column asserts, is a win-win proposal. After recounting China’s extraordinary achievements in connecting various points on the planet via rail lines, it concludes that

“connecting Mexico and Colombia is not an impossible dream. The train is an ‘idea’ that can become a ‘project’.... Panamanian entrepreneurs should take advantage of these unlimited opportunities which this Inter-American railroad will offer us, benefits which some, apparently, refuse to see.”