The expansion of the Panama Canal is making international headlines, putting the spotlight on Panama’s economic success story.
With the official opening for the $5.25 billion expansion scheduled for June 26, the Canal is reviving discussion of Panama’s key role in global trade and the growth of the local economy. “Panama Canal Fever Sweeps Globe Again” was the headline on one Bloomberg article, which concluded the expansion will “redraw world trade once again.”
The expansion will send ripples through ports and industries around the world, in addition to the United States and the region. Coverage has focused on the continued expansion of multinational companies in Panama City and the new industries that will be setting up operations in Panama.
“The expansion has already bolstered Panama’s efforts to become the Singapore – or perhaps Dubai – of Central America,” writes the Wharton Business School site in “The Panama Canal Expansion: Changes Beyond the Waterway.”
But, as much as anything, the world is simply in awe of the engineering accomplishment of the Canal. The project is bringing out the little kid in people around the world, who are wide-eyed at the scale and detail of the project.
For the media, it has been an opportunity to produce dramatic pictures and videos of the Canal. They are dropping their cold objectivity and enjoying the excitement of this very cool event.
Business Insider published a slideshow of amazing photos of the new locks. “It is an immense effort by any scale, requiring 5 million cubic meters of high-strength concrete — enough to build a highway from New York to St. Louis — and some very impressive engineering,” the site reports. It can be found here.