This chapter includes the following articles.
A pillar of the economy, the Panama Canal’s contribution to the national treasury exceeded $1bn in the 2014 fiscal year, while its direct contribution to GDP reached $2.7bn (6%). The canal saw 325.8m PC/UMS tonnes of cargo pass through the same year, an increase of 2% on 2013, driven primarily by the dry bulk segment, which grew by 20% year-on-year. The Panama Canal Authority estimates its indirect contribution to GDP to be 29%. The canal’s eight-year expansion project, which reached 90% completion in June 2015, will double the waterway’s capacity and have a wide impact on the Panamanian economy. Beyond an increase in toll revenues, it is expected to impact areas as varied as the supply chain, trans-shipment activity and industrial real estate space. Ultimately, it should help Panama retain the importance in global shipping the country has enjoyed for the past century, while solidifying its status as a regional hub.
This chapter features interviews with Jorge Luis Quijano, CEO, Panama Canal Authority; and Juan Carlos Croston, President, Maritime Chamber of Panama.