December 21, 2014
‘Time to reinvigorate Maipú’
The time has come to “reinvigorate and resume the energy that in 2009 we’d dreamed of for Maipú,” Chilean President Michelle Bachelet declared yesterday, as she took the first steps with her Argentine counterpart to get the Maipú agreement focussed on “connectivity” between Chile and Argentina back on track.
The deal — the last Bachelet signed with Argentina during her previous mandate — focuses on “improving connectivity” between the two countries through the construction of a trans-oceanic railway and the Aguas Negras road tunnel through the Andes Mountains, as well as changes to migration laws that would make it easier for Chileans to travel to Argentina, and vice-versa. “The first thing Michelle and I spoke about was that the idea of doubling the border crossings with Chile is vital for commerce with the most dynamic zone in the world, Asia,” said Fernández de Kirchner.
Yesterday’s renovation of the agreement will include 90-day periods for the bilateral entities that have been charged with planning the railway and road tunnel services — EBIFERTRA and EBITAN, respectively — to incorporate new observations about the projects, with EBITAN now expected to call for tenders in the second quarter of next year.