Baptized the 21st century equivalent of the Panama Canal by Bolivian President Evo Morales, the bio-oceanic railway corridor scheduled to be built by his country will connect the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans via a 3,700 kilometer line starting from Port of Santos, Brazil, through Bolivia, and ending in Ilo, Peru.
This civil engineering megaproject will benefit more than half of the region’s countries, above all landlocked nations like the Plurinational State of Bolivia and Paraguay.
This January, Evo Morales and his Paraguayan counterpart, Horacio Cartes, signed a memorandum of understanding for the rail project, which will see Bolivia and Paraguay build two sections of the railroad, according to DW.
For Paraguay’s Public Works and Communications Minister, Ramón Jiménez Gaona, the railway between his country and Bolivia will increase economic activity on the Paraguay River, “With the advantage that we have the third largest fleet of barges and tugboats in the world,” reported DW.
The Minister described the project as a “situation in which everyone wins and we strengthen commercial ties and common interests with Bolivia.”
The railway is also set to be one of the main topics addressed in the Third Bolivia-Peru Bi-national Cabinet meeting scheduled for September 1, with the participation of Evo and Peruvian President Pedro Kuczynski, alongside their respective cabinets.
Regarding Brazil, Bolivia’s Minister of Public Works, Milton Claros, confirmed that work is underway to organize a “face-to-face meeting” between all countries involved in the bi-oceanic integration rail project, set to take place at the end of August in Bolivia.
The meeting will serve to review progress made to date, with Bolivia currently in the phase of conducting technical and financial studies.
“We still need to coordinate with the other countries, we are currently in talks to see if they have time to meet,” highlighted Claros, who noted that Brazil is still demonstrating “full interest” in the project.
Meanwhile, on August 3, it was announced that Bolivia had held talks with the government of Argentina, during which Claros met with the country’s Minister of Transport, Guillermo Dietrich, in Buenos Aires. There, the government of the province of Jujuy expressed its intention to participate in the venture which aims to strengthen regional integration and provide new opportunities for South-South trade and cooperation.