The pace of truly great projects being initiated by the BRICS nations and their collaborators continues at a rapid rate. Today's announcements:
* China and Russia are building a new seaport in the Sea of Japan. People's Daily reported Thursday, and it was picked up by press around the world, that the new port in Zarubino, in Primorsky Krai, is 18 km from the Chinese border, and could become one of the largest seaports in north-eastern Asia, handling 60 million tons of cargo per year. The deal was reportedly struck in May when Putin attended the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in Shanghai, when they also signed the gas pipeline and related deals.
* South African Agriculture Minister Senzeni Zokwana, in India for the Indo-South Africa Week, called on South African farmers to take advantage of the BRICS development bank. "It is an instrument for growth in BRICS countries and especially for agriculture in our region. It creates the opportunity for financing partnerships and growing markets for our products." Zokwana will meet his Indian counterpart, Radha Mohan Singh, in Mumbai. The minster said that the BRICS bank would feature in his talks with Singh.
* A meeting of representatives of India, China, and Nepal took place on Thursday in Kathmandu, organized by the Nepal Institute of International and Strategic Studies. "Nepal, India and China need to cooperate in the areas of hydro-power, tourism and telecommunication so that the people of the three countries can benefit from such a cooperation," they said. The former director of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Gautam Kaul, said Nepal and India should cooperate in the field of energy and infrastructure so that both the countries can attain prosperity for their people.
* China announced on Thursday that the railroad being constructed from Lhasa to Kathmandu has now reached the Nepal border at Shigatse, and that a train with 16 oxygen-filled cars took the two hour trip with 848 passengers. The $2.2 billion extension of the Qinghai-Lhasa Railroad (completed in 2006) to Shigatse is the most expensive rail line ever built in the world, due to the harsh terrain and the numerous bridges and tunnels required. The completion of the rail line to Khathmandu is expected in 2020, replacing the 1300-year-old caravan route which is still used for trade today. The overall objective is an overland route from Beijing through the Himalayas to South Asia.