14 Feb '11, 1am

China, Colombia in talks over Panama canal rival via @cmswire

LONDON - CHINA is in talks to build a 'dry canal' linking Colombia's Atlantic and Pacific coasts by rail, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos was quoted as saying on Sunday. The 220km project, dubbed as an alternative to the Panama canal, is one of a series of Chinese proposals that would boost transport links with Asia and improve Colombia's infrastructure, the Financial Times said, citing documents it has seen. 'It's a real proposal ... and it is quite advanced,' Mr Santos told the newspaper in an interview published on its website. The Panama canal represents roughly 5 per cent of world trade, with 13,000 to 14,000 ships passing through it every year. 'I don't want to create exaggerated expectations, but it does make a lot of sense,' Mr Santos said, adding that Asia is the 'new motor' of the world economy. The US$7.6 billion (S$9.8 billion) project is funded by the C...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/World/Story/STIS...

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