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Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

Uruguay offers sea outlet for Bolivia and Paraguay

The President of Uruguay, José Mujica, intends to help Bolivia and Paraguay have the coveted exit to the sea, so that these countries have the potential to improve the flow of their products. The idea of the Uruguayan President goes further: he wants to make the project in the deep water port in the state of Rocha, an open space for all Mercosur countries.

The President of Uruguay, José Mujica, intends to help Bolivia and Paraguay have the coveted exit to the sea, so that these countries have the potential to improve the flow of their products. The idea of the Uruguayan President goes further: he wants to make the project in the deep water port in the state of Rocha, an open space for all Mercosur countries, as a form of regional integration. The information was published earlier this month by the newspaper El Observador.

The Uruguayan Preseident, José Mujica, plans to build a port for Mercosur with Brazilian funding.

According to Mujica after meeting President Dilma Rousseff, Brazil will finance part of the port. The proposal was addressed only for these landlocked countries in South America and was presented last week by the Minister of Transport and Public Works of Uruguay, Enrique Pintado.

Paraguay and Bolivia are the largest producers of sleepers (pieces of wood that form part of the train tracks) in the region. Therefore, the aim of the Uruguayan authorities is to conduct an exchange between countries in order to create routes to the port of Rocha, as the railway issue will be key to integration.

"(Therefore) we have to change the matrix of the Uruguay infrastructure. We need to break the pattern of English (rail), through which the main routes converging terrestrial communication lead to the port of Montevideo," Enrique Pintado said in an interview with El Observador.

"We need to replace the English model by an integrationist model. We have to give priority to the approach of the Uruguay River with the Brazilian border and prioritize the route through Uruguay through the deepwater port of Rocha", added the minister. According to him, the port is to undergo a major structural change in the next 200 years, and the infrastructure should be planned for such.

Mujica, meanwhile, said on his radio show last Monday that he wants "Paraguay to get out to the Atlantic Ocean with its wood, its minerals and its soybeans, and that Bolivia can do the same. This means development for the region and logistical work of labor to Uruguay."

For the Uruguayan President this "means integrating building infrastructure and generously offering a port that can be common ownership of the regional governments."

The Uruguayan authorities should formalize the work of the deepwater port in 2014. The construction will be started during the tenure of President Jose Mujica. The official schedule estimates that the project will have an initial cost of $1 billion.

 

Théa Rodrigues, vermelho.org.br

With information from El Observador

Translated from the Portuguese version

Olga Santos

 

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