By Lise Alves, Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Brazil’s Transports Minister, Cesar Borges, and BNDES (Brazilian National Development Bank) president, Luciano Coutinho, arrived in China on Saturday seeking to attract Chinese financiers to invest in Brazil’s railroad infrastructure system.
According to the Ministry the objective of the trip is to “straighten relations between the two countries in regards to bilateral investments in infrastructure.” The two officials are scheduled to meet with China’s Transport Minister, the president of the Chinese Development Bank (CDB) and the Minister for National Development and Reform. For Minister Borges, it “will be a great opportunity to promote investments in Brazil.”
The two countries are expected to discuss Asian investments in new rail lines and infrastructure in Brazil. Despite being announced in August of 2012, the PIL (Program of Investments in Logistics) that included investments of R$99.6 billion to construct or improve rail lines has never left the drawing board.
Now Brazilian officials hope that China’s interest and expertise in the sector will help improve the infrastructure segment in the country. Minister Borges stated last year that the country’s rail system would be a priority for the government in 2014.
Also on the schedule is a meeting with executives from the Pangang Company, the Chinese rail manufacturer providing the rail lines for Brazil’s Norte-Sul Railroad System. The Brazilian officials are trying to move up the delivery of the order, scheduled for July. The contract signed by Brazil’s Ministry of Transports and Pangang calls for the delivery of 95,400 tons of rail lines at a cost of R$402 million.
According to the ANTF (National Association of Rail Transporters), Brazil’s railroad system transported a total of 490,000 tons of materials in 2013. Coal and iron ore were responsible for more than 75 percent of total transported by rail in the country.
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