A senior gov­ern­ment offi­cial in the Argentinian state of La Rioja has called on plans for a bi-oceanic cor­ri­dor to come to fruition as soon as pos­si­ble.

We are propos­ing to the national gov­ern­ment the need to imple­ment the bi-oceanic cor­ri­dor, which would con­nect the Atlantic and Pacific ports.- Ruben Galleguillo, the Minister for Planning and Industry in La Rioja

The cor­ri­dor will begin in Porto Alegre Brazil, pass through La Rioja and fin­ish in Coquimbo, Chile. Ruben Galleguillo, the Minister for Planning and Industry in La Rioja said that the provin­cial gov­ern­ment had already been in talks with seven other provinces in both Argentina and Chile about mak­ing head­way on the project.

Both he and olive oil pro­duc­ers from La Rioja believe that the cor­ri­dor would boost Argentinian olive oil exports to Asian mar­kets by low­er­ing costs and increas­ing prod­uct value.
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“The bi-oceanic cor­ri­dor is a very inter­est­ing project,” said Frankie Gobbee, CEO and co-founder of the Argentina Olive Group, which is based in La Rioja. “Argentina would have a direct out­let to the Pacific, low­er­ing the cost of export­ing to Asian mar­kets by up to 25 per­cent.”

Gobbee also pointed out that the bi-oceanic cor­ri­dor would include a 13.9‑kilometer tun­nel through the Andes, fur­ther expe­dit­ing the ship­ping of olive oil to the Pacific. This would help keep the oil fresh, which Gobbee believes would ben­e­fit Argentinian pro­duc­ers.

“What Argentina pro­duces dur­ing the year, it also sells that same year,” said Gobbee. “That gives greater secu­rity to inter­na­tional buy­ers because they always receive fresh oil from the cur­rent har­vest.”

La Rioja is the lead­ing pro­ducer and exporter of olives and olive oil in Argentina. Last year, 70 per­cent of Argentinian olive oil exports came from La Rioja. Many in the province believe that the emerg­ing Asian mar­kets are where the future of olive oil exports lie.


© Olive Oil Times | Data source: International Olive Council


Australia, China, Japan and South Korea are among the top 25 olive oil importers in the world and, in the past five years, have seen con­sid­er­able growth in con­sumer demand for olive oil. The four nations com­bined to import almost 145,000 tons of olive oil last year.

Argentina is already one of the seven largest exporters of olive oil to China, accord­ing to Daxue Consulting, a Chinese-based mar­ket research firm.

According to the Inter-American Development Bank, which is financ­ing the project, the cor­ri­dor will take nearly 8.5 years to com­plete and cost $1.5 bil­lion.

“We are propos­ing to the national gov­ern­ment the need to imple­ment the bi-oceanic cor­ri­dor, which would con­nect the Atlantic and Pacific ports,” Galleguillo said. “We have been work­ing with seven provinces on the need to link up with the third region of Atacama, in Chile. There they have deep water ports to go mainly to the Asian mar­kets.”

He addressed mem­bers of the agri­cul­tural sec­tor at a food and drink expo­si­tion recently, high­light­ing La Rioja’s impor­tance to Argentina’s grow­ing olive oil indus­try.

Marcelo Capello, pres­i­dent of Argentina’s Mediterranean Foundation was another speaker at the event. He empha­sized the eco­nomic impor­tance of con­nect­ing La Rioja and the Northwest of Argentina to Chilean ports.

“The Northwest of Argentina is far from the ports of Buenos Aires and Rosario, but is key to the country’s grow­ing export indus­try, much of which can be sold to emerg­ing Asian mar­kets,” said Capello. “For this the infra­struc­ture must be improved and in this sense the project must be looked at as a joint effort.”




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