The opportunity presented for Peru Bolivia’s decision to move its commercial cargo to ports in the country should be taken very seriously

A few weeks ago, Bolivian President Evo Morales announced the intention of his government to boost the priority inter oceanic connection jetties at the expense of Peruvian-Chilean port of Arica – as a means of enhancing its trade and its links with Asian markets. According to it, the ports of Ilo and Matarani, in the south, gradually welcome Bolivian commercial cargo, which in recent years has experienced strong growth and has allowed the country to grow highland, on average, rates 5% of GDP.

Although the announcement was made ​​in a climate of political tension between Bolivia and Chile, mainly following the arrest of three Bolivian soldiers, and claim under the sea which drives the administration of Evo Morales in international forums, the news does not stop be important for Peru and it is imperative to be capitalized.

Infrastructure Challenge

According to figures from the Bolivian Foreign Trade Institute (IBCE ), in the period from January to November 2012 amounted Bolivian commercial transactions, including imports and exports, more than 17,800 million dollars, most of which were made through Terminal Puerto Arica in northern Chile. Additionally, more than 70% of the charge passing through that port is destination or has Bolivian origin. Obviously, the amounts disclosed are not negligible and could give great vitality to the economy of the southern regions.


However, although the aforementioned announcement is an important opportunity to enhance interest in Peruvian ports in Arequipa and Moquegua, the challenge is not easy. According to Dante Battaglia, Head of Ground Operations Terminal Puerto Arica, about 2,000 trucks Bolivians were seen during the last week of February and early March in import and export cargoes. This “peak” load, which is becoming less unusual for highland traders would be very difficult to accommodate in the infrastructure in which the terminals are Peruvians who would aim to perform the transfer. While Mata-rani to today gets 10% of Bolivian cargo, its capacity is quite insufficient, making it necessary public and private commitment to achieve its re-powering. According to experts, the difference in depth between the Chilean port and quays Peruvians can be remedied with draft and dredging works, such as Shanghai, China, which was enabled port area about 20 miles offshore.

From the Bolivian side seems to be certainty and conviction about their decision to move the cargo to Peruvian ports. As it turned out, the government of Bolivia in the coming years will invest about 3,000 million dollars to enable various connecting roads to the south terminal. The railroad bioceanic Santos (Brazil)-Santa Cruz-Cochabamba-La Paz also is a target.

Integration through trade

While over the years the various Bolivian governments have failed to operate some of the various port concessions that were issued by countries in the region, including Ilo in Peru, Rosario in Argentina and Nueva Palmira in Uruguay, the opportunity it represents for Peru Bolivia’s decision to move its payload into the country must be taken very seriously. Harnessing the disagreements between Chile and Bolivia for Bolivians attract traders to the coast of Ilo and Matarani, particularly for the benefit of the regions of the south, does not collide with the Latin American integrations vision that the government intends to promote, but on the contrary, opens the integration scenario through more and better infrastructure, and links to companies through competition mechanisms shopping momentous for its development.

It is expected, therefore, that during the meeting they will hold the presidents of Peru, Brazil and Bolivia (and with the presence of the Chilean president, who has been invited especially) the April 5 because of the opening of the bi-oceanic corridor Corumba (Brazil) – Santa Cruz (Bolivia) – Drainage (Peru), is sealed Bolivian project viability. For Peru, no doubt, could become a turning point, a major advantage. It is time to realize that becomes a possibility, more than ever, in an urgent opportunity.