New canal may double Nicaragua’s economy

Global Business

Construction is underway on Nicaragua’s canal. It’s being called the world’s largest infrastructure project, with the potential to double the economy in that Central American nation. CCTV America’s Franc Contreras reported from ground zero of the massive project.

New canal may double Nicaragua's economy

New canal may double Nicaragua's economy

Construction is underway on Nicaragua's canal. It's being called the world's largest infrastructure project, with the potential to double the economy in that Central American nation. CCTV America's Franc Contreras reported from ground zero of the massive project.

In the past, the idea of building the Panama Canal seemed to many like an outrageously massive and even an unachievable task.

Top engineers with the Hong Kong Nicaragua Development Group working on the Nicaragua canal said the project will easily dwarf its competition in Panama.

The so-called Fast-Track project is now in the design phase. When the canal is completed in about five years, it will be more than 280 kilometers (about 174 miles) long and 30 meters (98.5 feet) deep.

The project’s chief engineer said the pure logistics of this canal is a huge challenge and another is Nicaragua’s hot, tropical climate.

“We set a very aggressive timetable, so the challenge I see is doing such a big project in a country that doesn’t have a lot of infrastructure for construction, doesn’t have a lot of labor for construction, and doesn’t have a lot of resources for construction,” HKND Chief Project Advisor Bill Wild said.

The construction of a massive seaport will take place where the Brito River dumps into the Pacific Ocean.

Many logistics experts expected a bright future for global shipping and said by the time the Nicaragua canal is in place, the amount of cargo moving on the world’s oceans will continue to expand.

The Nicaraguan government said that when the project is finished, the new canal will be able to handle the world’s largest cargo ships and will help grow the country’s economy, which is one of the weakest in all the Americas.

“In the coming year, we are expecting about 5 percent growth. With no problem, the canal will double our economy, but everything depends on the amounts and way in which investments come,” Ovidio Reyes, Nicaragua Central Bank president, said.

It’s still unclear how the financing for this mega-project will be achieved. But once completed, the HKDG expects that the canal will completely transform this part of the global economy.


Nicaragua canal meets social and environmental challenges

Nicaragua canal meets social and environmental challenges

Nicaragua canal meets social and environmental challenges

The government official in charge of the project said efforts are being taken to protect the environment.

The government official in charge of the project said efforts are being taken to protect the environment.

“A 4th route is more expensive than some of the other choices, but it has the lowest environmental and social costs. So environmental concerns and social concerns trump costs, and the 4th route was chosen,” Paul Oquist, Nicaragua Canel Project Supervisor, said.

The government told CCTV that some 28,000 people must be relocated to make way for the canal.

“The government has not come to talk about this. We’re waiting for them to have this conversation about how our communities will be affected,” Natividad Cruz Guzman, a La Junta resident, said.

The Nicaraguan government said those affected will receive fair compensation. “The criteria is that everyone at the end of the day is going to be better off than they were before,” Oquist said.

Another government’s priority is protecting Lake Nicaragua, which is the largest source of fresh water in Central America. That could be a challenge considering some of the world’s biggest cargo ships will pass through here.


Miami Herald World Editor John Yearwood explains the implications of the Nicaragua canal

CCTV America’s Elaine Reyes interviewed Miami Herald newspaper’s World Editor John Yearwood about the implications of the grand canal.

Miami Herald World Editor John Yearwood explains the implications of the Nicaragua canal

Miami Herald World Editor John Yearwood explains the implications of the Nicaragua canal

CCTV America's Elaine Reyes interviewed Miami Herald newspaper's World Editor John Yearwood about the implications of the grand canal.

 

  • Your kidding me…Double the economy while destroying the environment that helps to feed everyone. This project under the circumstances of Global Climate Change is nothing short of idiotic. What will there be left to trade and ship when everything is gone or can no long keep up with the ever increasing consumption and population of the earth. This is disgusting on many levels and says nothing more about our society than we have not learned anything but greed.

    • Marwinyah Peazo

      Every single construction project in the world has environmental issues and if these issues are addressed accordingly then a 10 – 15% GDP is a great gift to the nation.

      If Panama Canal wasn’t built, do we think Panama will be well-off right now? Go ahead and visit the beautiful rich Panama.

      If someone has another option to lift the people out of extreme Iguana-eating-poverty, please lay it down on the table fast while the trees are being cut and the lakes being polluted anyways.

      Africa is a template on what China will do to Latin America.

      The Western powers gave financial aid to NGOs in Africa.

      While China built roads, bridges, stadium, schools, hospitals, ports, rails and did I say roads?

      These infrastructure building projects made the difference where the West failed. The Chinese are doing exactly the same pattern on building road projects in Latin America.

      “If you want to rise out of poverty, you first have to build roads”. — Ancient Chinese proverb

      http://youtu.be/qHEpsXmmD48?list=PLE7865CD7C141D230

  • itaia

    Nicaragua has a population of 6.2 million, of whom 400,000 have to seek work as migrants in Costa Rica, which now starts mass deportations. The de facto unemployment rate in Nicaragua is high. Each year Nicaragua has to feed and find work for an additional 100,000 people. Although the fertility rate is quite normal – 2 birth per female, the generational rotation is high due to unions forming in the late teens. Development is an imperative if Nicaraguans want to escape the rank of “second poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere” . (Haiti is the poorest). Tourism is not the primary economic elements for any nation in the Western Hemisphere, even in the nearby Caribbean, the economic return from tourism is limited: A great percentage of islanders have to migrate to North America or Europe. In contrast to Costa Rica and Mexico, there are no tourism locations in Nicaragua that offer a year-around temperate spring-like climate ,due to higher elevation, which would suit solvent retirees from North America or Europe. Mining is disputed industry in the current international concern about the environment. Export agriculture faces strong competition from efficient major competitors – the USA, Brazil, Argentina. The off-shore textile industry faces strong competition from South East Asia :Bangladesh, Vietnam and others due to their work cultures and tendency of the USA for favor those nations due to strategic reasons. The canal will take time to be operational and will require unavoidable adjustments. But the project would give Nicaraguans a genuine long-term path to considerable development. The canal would also benefit the United States by providing a second maritime route from the Caribbean to the Pacific. U.S. exporters from the U.S. East Coast and the U.S.Gulf ports would have more competitive transportation costs for the exports to Asia: The Nicaragua canal would save one day for each sailing. — It has been reported that the developers had already received , in recent years a technical analysis from canal construction and water-flow experts from the Netherlands. The Dutch have centuries of experience in this field, because much of their productive agricultural land is below the level of the sea, and canals are omnipresent in the entire nation.

  • Greencar

    This project will definitely help Nicaragua. What are the Chinese going to be do with these dredgings, build an artificial island for tourism? Good idea and I hope they do it.