Panama stud­ies build­ing train to Costa Rica with China

Stabroek News Sunday - - WORLD NEWS -

LIMA (Reuters) - Panama is con­sid­er­ing build­ing a pas­sen­ger train to Costa Rica with China, a project that would re­quire an ini­tial in­vest­ment of $5 bil­lion, Panama’s Pres­i­dent told Reuters in an in­ter­view, a sign of the Asian coun­try’s grow­ing in­ter­est in Latin Amer­ica.

Pres­i­dent Juan Car­los Varela said Panama is pro­mot­ing in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ment in gen­eral and will also auc­tion off a third metro line, with an ex­pected $4 bil­lion in­vest­ment re­quire­ment.

China has be­come more in­volved in Latin Amer­ica as the United States, un­der Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, has taken a more pro­tec­tion­ist stance on trade.

“We are do­ing with China a fea­si­bil­ity study of a 450-kilo­me­ter train be­tween Panama and the bor­der of Costa Rica,” Varela said on the side­lines of the Amer­i­cas Sum­mit in Lima on Fri­day evening.

Varela also said he ex­pected a $6 bil­lion cop­per mine un­der con­struc­tion by Aus­tralia’s First Quan­tum Min­er­als to start pro­duc­ing next year, adding 2.5 per cent to Panama’s gross do­mes­tic prod­uct.

In ref­er­ence to the US-China trade dis­pute, Varela said if any coun­try wanted to rene­go­ti­ate trade agree­ments, it should do so with­out gen­er­at­ing con­flict. Panama wel­comed in­vest­ment from all coun­tries, he said.

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