To accelerate trade with South America, China has built a deep-water mega port in Chancat, Peru, worth US$3.5 billion, scheduled to start operations late in 2024.
The port will provide China with a direct gateway to the region and its valuable resources, including soy, corn, and copper.
Majority-owned by Chinese state-owned company Cosco Shipping, the port will be the first controlled by China in South America. It will also be able to accommodate the largest cargo ships that can travel directly to Asia, cutting the journey time by as much as two weeks.
In an interview with Reuters, Juan Mathews Salazar, trade minister of Peru, said, “The Chancay mega port aims to turn Peru into a strategic commercial and port hub between South America and Asia.”
The new port is part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which has enabled Beijing to win new economic allies and gain leverage in political forums, finance, and technology.
Full construction of the port began in 2018 at Chancay, some 50 miles north of Lima, and its first phase is set to be completed in November 2024.