Buenos Aires-Colonia Bridge Could Move Forward With Chinese Loans

Patrick Archer buenos aires events, foreign investment, tourism, uruguay

Hundreds of Argentine and Chinese executives and trade representatives met this month during the Argentina-China Business Forum 2014 which coincided with the visit of Chinese president Xi Jinping.

The delegation of 180 Chinese businessmen arrived this month with Peking’s authorization to invest US$1 billion in Argentina, and a total of 28 bilateral agreements were signed worth US$1.5 billion, according to the president of the Argentina-China Chamber.

One of the most expensive and high profile projects which has been kicked around for two decades might be a 42-kilometer bridge spanning the River Plate and connecting Buenos Aires with Colonia.

During the forum, Argentine officials expressed confidence they would secure partial project financing with a US$800 million loan from China’s Exim Bank. If it receives approval from Parliaments in both Argentina and Uruguay, China’s CDIG would oversee construction of what would be the fourth-longest bridge in the world.

Argentina’s enthusiasm was immediately tempered by a more measured and sober response from Uruguay officials. Upon hearing the news, the Uruguay Ambassador to Argentina Guillermo Pomi rejected the idea that the project would ever move forward. His skepticism is buttressed with a perusal of the bridge project’s archives in La Nacion. (Full Story in Spanish)

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