Brazil, Peru and China to specify railway details
Updated: 2015-02-16 03:48
By Zhang Yuchen(China Daily Latin America)
A stretch of Brazil's uncompleted North-South Railroad is pictured in Anapolis City September 26, 2013. [Photo/Reuters]
A China-Brazil-Peru working group will soon be composed and hold a meeting to discuss the details of a proposed transcontinental railroad in South America, said the Brazilian ambassador to China.
The proposed railway traversing South America and linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans would be a first. The joint team will work on the deliberations and specific cost estimates of the railway and the first meeting will be held at the end of February or early March, said Valdemar Leao, the ambassador of Brazil to China, in an interview with People's Daily.
The trilateral cooperation project was jointly announced by China, Brazil and Peru when Chinese president Xi Jinping made his first South American trip following his participation in the sixth BRICS summit in Brazil last July.
This is the largest railway project proposed by Chinese leaders during an overseas trip.
Late last year, at the APEC meeting in Beijing, Peru's Ministry of Transport and Communication, Brazil's Ministry of Transport and China's National Commission of Development and Reform, signed the agreement at the Great Hall of the People on Tiananmen Square, to explore the project, called the Twin Ocean Railroad Connection.
The Chinese president also proposed that a trilateral work group be established to guide their cooperation in all related aspects, including the planning, design, construction and operation of the transcontinental railway.
The rail would begin from coastal cities of Peru and end on Brazil's coast, extending about 5,000 kilometers, including 2,000 kilometers of already existing railway. The initial investment of the historical undertaking is estimated at about $60 million.
According to reports, such a railway project was mentioned for the first time in 2011, when Colombia's president, Juan Manuel Santos, said in an interview with the Financial Times that Colombia planned to cooperate with China in jointly building a railway linking the two oceans, but the news stopped there.
Brazil’s current transportation system consists mainly of the main road and railway networks, where the road capacity accounts for 60.49 percent of the total capacity and the railway only 24 percent. Railway networks are used mainly in the south, the southeast and northeast of Brazil, more than 35 percent of which was built 60 years ago with low overall efficiency.
With serious problems impacting the agricultural base in western Brazil, high road transportation costs have led to price increases of agricultural exports, affecting its international competitiveness.