15 Feb 2011

Alternative to Panama Canal mooted

8:24 am on 15 February 2011

Colombia is negotiating with China to build an alternative route to the Panama Canal to promote the flow of goods between Asia and Latin America.

The plan is to create a 'dry canal' linking the Pacific port of Buenaventura by rail across Colombia to the Atlantic Coast.

Trade between Colombia and China has increased from $US10 million in 1980 to more than $US5 billion last year.

President Juan Manuel Santos has told the Financial Times the project is quite advanced.

The BBC reports China has been increasing its involvement across Latin America to feed a growing need for raw materials and commodities.