$5bn China-funded railway will connect from Panama City to Costa Rica

 Tuesday, April 17, 2018 


Panama City to Costa RicaA 450km rail line will be built from Panama City to the border with Costa Rica with an initial investment of around $5bn by Chinese government to increase travel and tourism.



At present, Panama has only one functioning railway, which runs from north to south alongside the Panama Canal.




The President Juan Carlos Varela told that the government’s intentions at the sidelines of the Americas Summit in Lima on Friday.



The plan for Panama’s first international railway moved a step closed in December when an agreement to start a feasibility study was signed by Vice Chancellor Luis Miguel Hincapie and China’s Minister of Commerce, Zhong Shan. This also established China’s willingness to fund the project.




Augusto Arosemana, Panama’s trade minister, said at the time that he hoped the study would be completed by June.




A meeting to discuss transport links between President Varela and his Costa Rican counterpart, Luis Guillermo Solis, took place in March.



That gave final approval for the construction of a 260m-long bridge over the Sixaola River on the Caribbean border between the two countries. This bridge is likely to carry the railway line, if work on it does go ahead.




This project, which has been under discussion for 13 years, had been expected to begin in June 2016.




Panama and Coasta Rica are hoping to boost their social and economic integration. This will also help to increase their mutual appeal to tourists by making it easier for visitors to include both countries in a trip.



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