Argentina, Brazil, Chile, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Paraguay Friday agreed in Dubai on the sidelines of the United Nations Climate Summit (COP28) to “seek opportunities” for the highway due to link the port of Santos, in Brazil, with the Chilean ports of Arica and Iquique. Former Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benítez has dubbed the initiative “the small Panama Canal.”
The Joint Declaration on Cooperation linked to the Bioceanic Corridor agreed upon in the interest of deepening social, trade and investment relations provides for the cooperation with the private sectors, to accelerate economic activity in the interest of the parties, and to seek opportunities in the bioceanic corridor.
The document was signed by Foreign Ministers Mauro Vieira (Brazil), Alberto van Klaveren (Chile), Rubén Ramírez Lezcano (Paraguay), the UAE Minister of Investment, Mohamed Hassan Al Suwaidi; and Argentina's Ambassador to the UAE, Agustín Molina Arambarri in the presence of heads of state from the UAE, Paraguay, and Brazil.
The integration project will strengthen trade and economic development in the region, where Paraguay will be a major player, Paraguayan President Santiago Peña wrote on X.
Officials from the five countries joined the COP 28 debate in Dubai, where they took this step towards the consolidation of the Bi-Oceanic Corridor, a project that has been promoted by Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Paraguay since 2015 to boost development in the region.
The road drafted to be some 2,200 kilometers long would cross the Argentine provinces of Salta and Jujuy, Mato Grosso do Sul in Brazil, and Antofagasta and Tarapacá in Chile, as well as the Gran Chaco in Paraguay. It is expected to be completed by 2025.
It is an integration project that links by land the south of Brazil with the ports of northern Chile, passing through Paraguay and Argentina, said Chilean President Gabriel Boric last month.