Expansion begins on Panama Canal
The construction of Panama continues to move in a very progressive direction, for a country that has grown past many of its internal struggles to become a true 21st century metropolis. Time magazine this week asked, Is Panama the Hong Kong of the America's? It quite simply has for all intent and purpose moved its infrastucture to accomodate its fortunate geographical position in world trade. Having spent time in Panama and being very familiar with its financial culture, I expect that the changes to the canal will help to propel this Central American country into equal status with Hong Kong's importance in international trade. It already is proving to be a popular retirement destination for Americans and will surely continue to attract business from around the world seeking to position themselves in a strategical place for international trade.
In the presence of former President Carter, who signed the 1977 treaty that gave Panama control of the waterway, Panamanian President Martin Torrijos celebrated the start of construction on two wider sets of locks being added to both sides of the canal.
"We are witnesses to an exceptional and unique act," Torrijos said moments after the explosion.
The $5.25 billion expansion is expected to double the 50-mile canal's capacity and lower the price of consumer goods on the East Coast of the United States by allowing wider vessels to squeeze through with more cargo.