Buenos Aires, December 12 Argentina is a large agricultural product country. However, due to the old freight railway system and frequent accidents, most agricultural products are transported by road from the production area to the port, which makes the cost high and lack competitiveness.
In order to solve this problem, the Argentine government recently signed a cooperation agreement with Chinese enterprises to upgrade and transform the three major freight railway lines.
On the 11th, the Argentine Ministry of Transport and the Railway Operation Company signed four railway cooperation agreements with three Chinese enterprises at the Argentine presidential palace, involving the transformation and carriage procurement of the Belgrano Freight Railway, the San Martin Freight Railway and the Northern Patagonia Corridor Railway, with a total amount of $4.695 million.
The agreement will create 28,000 jobs in Argentina, benefiting 13 provinces.
The three Chinese enterprises involved in the agreement are China Machinery and Equipment Engineering Co., Ltd., China Railway Construction Co., Ltd. and China CRRC International Co., Ltd.
When attending the signing ceremony, Argentine President Fernández said that Argentina’s vast territory and perfect railway system are crucial to economic development, and thanked Chinese enterprises for their support for the development of Argentina’s railway system.
Argentine Transport Minister Mario Meoni said in an interview with Xinhua News Agency that investment from China is extremely important. Argentina hopes to improve infrastructure and provide good logistics guarantees for enterprises.
These agreements signed with China are conducive to the development of Argentine railways. These three major freight railway lines run through Argentina’s main food-producing areas and ports. The upgraded railway system will greatly reduce logistics costs and improve the export competitiveness of Argentina’s agricultural products.
Yan Meng, the head of China Railway Construction Americas, said that the total line of the St. Martin Freight Railway Transformation Project is 1,813 kilometers, which will become the first Argentine railway project built using Chinese plans, Chinese technology and Chinese equipment.
After the completion of the project, the speed of the line will be increased from the current 40 kilometers per hour to 90 kilometers per hour, and the annual freight volume will increase from the current 3 million tons to 9 million tons, which is of great significance for promoting Sino-Arab production capacity cooperation and carrying out complementary economic advantages.
Juliana González Houregi, director of the Department of Chinese Studies in the Department of Latin American Social Sciences of the University of San Andrés, Argentina, said that many cities in Argentina are built along railways, which are of great significance to Argentina’s development.
Chinese enterprises help upgrade Argentina’s railway system, which will revitalize these cities and bring more export opportunities and create a lot of jobs to many small and medium-sized enterprises along the route.
She told reporters that the three major freight railway lines can drive the economy of northern, central and southern Argentina respectively.
Reduced transport costs help to increase productivity and value added to commodities, and bring important opportunities for Argentina’s economic development.