ARGENTINA: At the end of an official visit to Beijing at the head of a high-level trade mission, Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman announced on September 9 that negotiations had been completed with China Machinery & Equipment Corp for a US$2·5bn upgrade of the Belgrano rail network. The contract 'will be signed in October', he said.

'We are also continuing to work on the projects to build a metro in Córdoba, electrify the Roca network and build a rail link to Ezeiza', said Timerman. Funding would be provided by Chinese banks 'at competitive rates'.

Chinese banks are expected to provide 85% of the US$1·5bn cost of building a 20 km extension of Buenos Aires metro Line E from Plaza de los Virreyes to Ezeiza International Airport. There would be five intermediate stations under the latest plans for an airport rail link.