The MTOP undersecretary announced that the schedule for the dredging tasks has been set. It is a key work for bilateral trade.
In spring the dredging of the San Gonzalo channel for the construction of the Laguna Merín Waterway, a project that is part of the agreements between the countries reached in January and that has great potential to become a pole of economic development for the entire eastern region of the country, mainly in the departments of Cerro Largo, Rocha and Treinta y Tres.
The undersecretary of Transportation and Public Works, Juan Jose Olaizola, announced that the dredging of the canal will begin in the spring of this year. “This seems important to us because it confirms what was said in Brasilia and is in line with the determination of the call for bids for a new bridge over the yaguaron river and the designation of the international airport of Rivera”, expressed Olaizola in relation to the official visit on March 7 where the ministers of Foreign Affairs, Francisco Bustillo; of Economy and Finance, Azucena Arbeleche; of Transport and Public Works, José Luis Falero and Olaizola himself.
This project belongs to the agreements between the president Luis Lacalle Pou and the brazilian president Lula Da Silvamaterialized in his visit to the Uruguayan capital in January of this year and would facilitate the interconnection of watercourses from Rio Grande do Sulin Brazil, and the aforementioned Uruguayan departments, together with maldonado and Lavalleja, according to a report by the Center for the Study of Economic and Social Reality (Ceres) published in 2019.
An opportunity for economic development
The integral development of a zone of terrestrial influence around the Merín Lagoon would have a direct impact on the activity and industrial production of the region between both countries.
The lagoon basin, together with its tributaries, represent approximately one sixth of the countrywith 33,000 square kilometersand cover an area of 62,250 square kilometers in the binational total. In addition, if it adds to the Brazilian Lagoa dos Ducksthe lake ecosystem amounts to 143,000 square kilometers, in a territory inhabited by some 4.5 million people.
Between the benefits of the realization of this waterway, highlight the increase in competitiveness for access to new markets and a possible reduction of transport costs following a new logistics improvement that favors national decentralization.
The main fluvial exit routes for national assets would be to the south and west of the basin, and would impact, among others, rice production of the area, which is currently obliged to transport production by road to the port of Montevideosomething that negatively impacts the final sale price and the competitiveness of the sector.
In turn, there could be a increase in employment and production in one of the regions with the greatest socioeconomic deprivations in the country. At the same time, a improvement in environmental impact due to reduced use of fossil fuels.