Colombia and China discuss US$7.6B Pacific-Atlantic railway line
Colombian and Chinese officials are negotiating a US$7.6 billion railway and port infrastructure investment in a bid to boost the South American country’s position as an international distribution center, reported the Financial Times.
If approved the proposed development would be funded by the China Development Bank, with 791km (491 miles) of railway infrastructure that includes a Pacific-Atlantic connection to a new city near the Caribbean port of Cartagena, the story reported.
It is expected that the city would be used to assemble imported Chinese products for distribution throughout the Americas, according to the Financial Times.
“Colombia has a very important strategic position, and we view the country as a port to the rest of Latin America,” China’s ambassador to Colombia Gao Zhengyue was quoted as saying.
If the proposal goes ahead it would allow 40 million metric tons (MT) of cargo a year to be transported from Colombia’s ‘economic heartland’ to the Pacific Ocean, the story reported.
“The studies (the Chinese) have made on the costs of transporting per ton, the cost of investment, they all work out,” Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos told the Financial Times.
“It’s incredible how many Chinese delegations we have been receiving, week after week, with different proposals.
“This one (proposal) is quite advanced, to create a whole city south of Cartagena in the Caribbean, as a hub for production and assembly to export to the rest of South America and Central America and even to the United States.”
Santos told the Financial Times that the idea itself was nothing new, but ‘the sky is the limit’ and he hoped to be able to offer concessions to attract foreign investment.
Photo: Deutsche Welle