China is now looking to bring the Belt and Road initiative to Latin America. Our correspondent Yang Zhao explains how China is throwing the door wide open to further economic ties with the region.
Chinese President Xi Jinping said that "The Belt and Road and the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank are both open initiatives. China welcomes all partners around the world to take part." Now this plan is being extended to Latin America. One of the latest examples is China's proposal to construct a 5,300 kilometers railroad from Brazil to Peru.
The proposed route would pass through the Amazon Rainforest and the Andes Mountains, and connect the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans.Hence the name: "The Trans-Oceanic Railway". How convenient will this railway be? Let's take wheat as an example: the cost of transporting it from the port of Acu in Brazil to the port of Ilo in Peru would be lowered by 30 dollars per ton. The railway would also increase transport capacity to 35 million tons from 21 million, reducing costs and increasing competitiveness in South America.
A feasibility study into this project is due to be completed this year, and is just one of many Chinese investment projects in South America. With the Belt and Road initiative extended there, China says its trade with the region could double to 500 billion US dollars over the next ten years, strengthening China's role as Latin America's second largest trading partner.