Bolivia's Morales hopes to build railway to Peru

AP News
Posted: Dec 26, 2011 5:45 PM

Bolivia's president said Monday that he hopes to build a new railway linking his country to Peru that would facilitate exports to Asia.

Bolivian President Evo Morales said he has discussed the plan with Peruvian President Ollanta Humala. Morales told the Peruvian radio station RPP that the railway would run from Puerto Suarez, on Bolivia's border with Brazil, to the Pacific port of Ilo in Peru.

"It's my great dream," Morales said, adding that Brazil and Peru would also gain from having a railway link. He said it would carry agricultural products as well as other commodities to Asian countries.

Morales said in August after a visit to China that Chinese officials expressed interest in making the railway project a priority. It's not immediately clear how much the railway would cost, or how much financial support China might provide.

Bolivia and Peru currently export minerals to China including zinc and lead. Bolivia currently uses roads to truck shipments to Pacific ports in Chile.

Morales made the remarks Monday in the Peruvian city of Cusco, where he spent Christmas after meeting with Peru's president.

Humala also reiterated his support last week for Bolivia in its long-standing request that Chile provide the landlocked country with a corridor of land to access the Pacific coast.