Bio Bio Mayor Sergio Giacaman led a meeting with the representatives of the Zapala Free Trade Zone to discuss the cultural and economic integration between the Chilean and Argentine South. The project “Bioceanic Corridor” was called to link roads and ports of Bahía Blanca, Argentina, and Talcahuano -San Vicente, in Chile.

“We agreed that this agenda shall not be resumed in two more years; we rather wish to maintain relationships in the short term regarding business rounds and incorporating conversations to see what steps we should take between Bio Bio Region and Neuquen,” explained Mayor Giacaman.

The finding of Oil and Gas reserves at the site called Vaca Muerta in Neuquen resumed the interests of international conglomerates in investing in the area, including the entire chain value associated with projects of that size.

Roberto Ferracioli, president of the Zapala Free Trade Zone Board, stated the importance of stability in the country. “Chile has a security which is not only legal, since all actors think in the same way despite of having different political signs, which is heading towards a very clear north.”

For the next stage of the project, machinery and supplies from Asia will be needed. The Bio Bio ports have a logistical advantage over Bahía Blanca, as the destination Port Añelo and Zapala are closer to the Pacific (450 km) than the Atlantic (750 km).

Cristian Bergese, director of Zapala Free Trade Zone, said: “we believe that by proximity and by the amount of treaties that Chile has with the world, it is a good opportunity to make a synergy with the ports, especially with Concepcion which has many years of experiences”.

Currently, the Zapala Free Trade Zone is in process of being opened. It is close to the Chilean border and the Vaca Muerta Project.