New trade connections in Asia and South America
After seven years of political conflict, Colombia and Venezuela are working on improving mutual relations. One of the key changes is the opening of the border to trade, – trucks carrying aluminium, medicines, coal, toilet paper, textiles and fruit are already crossing the bridge between the Colombian city of Cúcuta and the Venezuelan state of Táchira. Trade between the two countries could be worth more than US$600 million this year. Commercial flights between Colombia and Venezuela will also be resumed soon, enabling billions of dollars worth of trade.
After a five-month suspension due to the pandemic, North Korea and China have resumed freight train traffic – the first shipment set off from the Chinese border town of Dandong to North Korea’s Sinŭiju, with trains expected to run once or twice a day. China is the main exporter of goods to North Korea and usually accounts for more than 90% of North Korean trade. In 2021, however, this has declined to US$318 million, namely by 90% in comparison to the pre-pandemic level.
Oman and UAE intend to invest US$3 billion to connect their rail networks . Oman Rail and Etihad Rail want to set up a company that will interconnect the container and freight port in Oman’s Suharto with the rail network in the Emirates. The new passenger and freight connection will cover 303km. Suhar lies outside the Strait of Hormuz, a major transport hub at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, and it is expected to develop as a container, food and chemical depot on the Arabian Peninsula.