Francisco Ruiz, a representative of the National Council for Foreign Trade Development of Peru, speaking at a conference in Puerto Maldonado on June 6, 2008, said that such a roadway would significantly cut the “commercial distance” between Brazil and its Asian trading partners, and was on schedule for completion by the year 2010.
The route would provide an alternative outlet for soya, meat, and industrial products bound for Asia from Brazil’s northern and central eastern regions, cargo that currently moves mainly through the ports of Santos and Paranaguá. The cost of transport would be reduced to an average of US$30 per ton, said Miguel Sousa, director of planning in Brazil’s national department of transportation infrastructure.
According to Sousa, the initial goal is to increase trade between Brazil and Peru, and over the long term to tighten Brazil’s market ties with Asia. The highway on the Brazilian side – from Rio Branco, the capital of the state of Acre, to the Peruvian border, a distance of 220 km (137 miles) – has already been paved. The Peruvian segment, part of which traverses the Amazon rainforest and the Andean Cordillera, is about 50% complete, according to Sousa.