Bolivia's President Evo Morales met with Peru's President Martin Vizcarra on Friday at the Summit of the Americas in Lima to discuss accelerating construction of the bioceanic train connecting the Atlantic and Pacific across the South American continent.
'Heart of South America': Bolivia Plans Bioceanic Train Connecting Atlantic, Pacific Oceans
"A commission will work so that there is a meeting of transport ministers or public works ministers to define the finances and pre-investments of the project.
"We hope to accelerate; the most important thing is that there is interest to continue working on the bioceanic corridor," Morales said in a press conference.
The project has been called the Panama Canal of the 21st century and is likely to have a major financial and geopolitical impact by eliminating the monopoly of the canal on Atlantic-Pacific commercial shipments.
Morales, in honor of his Indigenous heritage, has called the rail project the "Chapaq Ñan of the 21st century," in reference to the network of roads that linked and unified the Inca empire.
The project is transnational, having been conceived by Morales during a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, and backed by a mix of state funds from participating countries, private industries and several European companies. Countries participating in addition to Bolivia include Peru, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay.
The train would start in Puerto Santos, Brazil and finish at the port town of Puerto de Ilo.
The project is currently in the planning phase, with Bolivia leading research into commercial prospects, environmental impact and ways to minimize it, and construction.