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Uruguayan govt in talks with Brazil on Focem funding for railroad (Regional)
Uruguayan authorities are in talks with Brazilian government officials to garner support to obtain financing for the Uruguayan stretch of an Atlantic-Pacific railroad, an official from Uruguay's presidential office told BNamericas.


Brazil's support would help Uruguay secure financing from the Mercosur structural convergence fund Focem, said the official, adding that the government is analyzing a number of initiatives that could be financed by the fund.


Uruguayan authorities met recently with Paraguayan and Bolivian officials and discussed the importance of improving Uruguay's railway and port infrastructure to boost the two land-locked countries' trade.


Uruguayan President Jose Mujica also met with his Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to discuss the projects. A special committee comprised by public works and transport, and finance ministry representatives, among others, is now working with Brazilian government officials to help Uruguay obtain the funds, the official said.


The recent improvement in bilateral relations between Uruguay and Argentina will also facilitate the Focem financing alternative, according to the official.


Authorities expect to have news regarding the issue during the fourth quarter of this year, as the projects they expect to be partly financed using the fund will be included in the government's four-year investment plan, to be approved this year, the official added.

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