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Argentina turns to China for rolling stock
Argentina seeks rolling stock from China (Image: Shutterstock. snvv18870020330)
Dr.G.R.Balakrishnan Nov 30 -0001 Logistics News (Roadways & Railways)

Argentina turns to China for rolling stock

The Argentinian transport ministry strives to secure Chinese investments in passenger and freight wagons and commence railway infrastructure works worth 862 million US dollars. At the same time, Argentina seeks ways to enable direct Chinese investments to take place in Yuan, speeding up the financing of projects and increasing Chinese influence in South America.

The last few days have seen Argentinian and Chinese officials holding meetings to address rail transport-related topics. Specifically, the Argentinian transport minister Diego Giuliano has met with Chinese companies CITIC Construction (CITIC) and China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) to discuss two different investments.

With CITIC, the discussion topic concerned contracts from 2014 for the provision of passenger and freight wagons, as well as the establishment of a locomotive workshop in Argentina by the Chinese company.

On the other hand, with CEMEC, Giuliano discussed the possibility of unlocking another older contract from 2006 concerning the launching of railway works that will cost 862 million US dollars. However, the minister did not specify where these works refer; in any case, they are a considerably significant investment.

Top strategic partners

On top of Argentina’s willingness to rekindle infrastructure investing relations with China in the context of the BRI project comes the country’s plan to become one of China’s strategic partners on a global scale. “We are working on a cooperation agreement to achieve this”, commented Giuliano.

The way to enhance commercial relations with China is simple for Argentina. The country wants China to invest in its economy directly, using its currency-Yuan. In this way, the country aims to speed up the pending infrastructure investments on the one hand and open up the way for more in the future on the other.

The fact that China’s influence in South and Latin America is growing, displacing the US and Europe as trade and investment partners, is not new. 21 of 33 Latin American countries are part of China’s BRI, and Argentina is one of the latest additions.