Wednesday 3 May 2023

UIC undertakes Latin American Mission to discuss sustainable mobility in Latin America and the role of rail

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UIC visited Latin America from 22 – 27 April 2023 for a range of events and bilateral meetings, including:

  • Presentation of new BMU (bimodal diesel-electric) trains in Chile
  • EFE UIC Day
  • Joint UIC and ECLAC side event at the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development 2023
  • Meeting with high level representatives from Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay Railways.
  • Presentations of UIC work at the ‘JST SYMPOSIUM “Present and future of transport safety in Argentina and the region

    ” on topics including accessibility and sustainable development.

These events created opportunities to engage with Latin American and global stakeholders, and to continue to position rail as the backbone of sustainable transport for people and goods of the future.

The UIC team, represented by Director General François Davenne, Rail System Director Christian Chavanel, Head of Sustainable Development Lucie Anderton, Passenger Director Marc Guigon, and Senior Passenger Advisor Vanessa Pérez, took the opportunity during this visit to exchange with its new Member EFE (Empresa de los Ferrocarriles del Estado), which has recently joined UIC.

In order to better understand the expectations of EFE and to exchange between experts on technical issues, including infrastructure, passenger, freight and sustainability, UIC organised a dedicated “UIC Day” in Santiago (Chile) on 24 April. The exchanges showed that UIC and EFE share common global challenges and ambitions. The investment plans in Chile are impressive, with clear targets to double freight, triple passenger numbers and increase by 30% the number of women in the workforce by 2026, as well as to be carbon neutral by 2035.

UIC is focused on supporting its new UIC member EFE to achieve these targets and together they will spread the word on the importance of rail in the future sustainable mobility in Latin America.

UIC and UN ECLAC held a joint meeting on the occasion of the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development 2023. With Vanessa Pérez as master of ceremonies, Keiji Inoue chaired a fireside chat where the Minister for Transport in Chile, Juan Carlos Muñoz, shared his vision and policy to transform mobility into a more interconnected and electrified public transport system that will connect more people and avoid unnecessary travel, with good urban planning being the key.

UIC Director General, François Davenne, shared examples from Africa and Europe where clear targets, long term policy vision and investment for rail and public transport have made cities more liveable. UIC Latin American Chair Joubert Flores shared the vision for green public transport in Brazil.

Miryam Saade Hazin, Economic Affairs Officer at International Trade and Integration Division, UN-ECLAC, presented the current transport trends across the regional and the key opportunities in rail.

UIC Head of Sustainable Development Lucie Anderton moderated a panel discussion on how the Latin American region can transform the way people and goods move through international cooperation, capacity building and sustained investment.

The panel featured:

  • Marc Guigon, Director Passenger and Latin America Region Coordinator, UIC
  • José Solorza Estebez, CEO, EFE Chile
  • Cristian Navas Duk, Senior Specialist, División de Transporte, BID
  • Carolina Chantrill, Sustainable Development Manager, Asociación Sustentar (online)
  • Liza Castillo, Senior Advisor, SLOCAT (online)
  • Cristian Navas, Inter-American Development Bank

From 26 – 27 April the UIC team met the main representatives from Paraguay, Uruguay Railways in Buenos Aires.

The mission led by the President of the UIC region, Jose Villafañe had the opportunity to meet the highest representatives of Argentinian Railways, Daniel Vispo, President of Belgrano Cargas (freight), Martin Marinucchi, President of SOFSE (passenger services) and ADIFSE (infrastructure), as well as Damian Contreras, President of FASE (Argentine Railway Holding) that have showed their growing interest in cooperating more closely with UIC.

This was also the occasion to reinforce UIC’s link with its new member JST (Junta de Seguridad en el Transporte) with the participation of Vanessa Pérez and Lucie Anderton in the first symposium organised by JST “Present and future of transport safety in Argentina and the region

” in two round table panel discussions on the topics of accessibility and climate change adaptation.

This mission followed the association’s strategic interest in the development of the UIC regions, in this case the Latin American region, in order to reinforce the global character of the association.

If you wish to be informed about future UIC actions and those of its members in the region, do not hesitate to follow us on

For further information on the activities of the UIC Latin American Region, please contact Marc Guigon

or Vanessa Perez

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