On Sunday, a Chinese vessel will become the first ship to sail through the newly expanded Panama Canal.
CCTV’s Roee Ruttenberg reports from Panama City.
Chinese vessel first to sail through Panama’s expanded canalIt will become the first ship to sail through the newly expanded Panama Canal, a project that cost six billion dollars.
Delegates from some 70 countries will be on hand for the opening ceremony.
More than a million ships have passed through the Canal since it was first built 100 years ago. A decade in the making, now the nearly six billion dollar project is ready for business.
The world stands to benefit by more easily connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The news locks are expected to boost global trade, at a time of decline. Several ports are already investing billions of dollars to expand their own capabilities.
The U.S. built the original canal, and controlled it for more than 85 years before handing over full sovereignty to Panama in 1999.
For many in Panama the expanded canal is now a source of national pride.
The expansion will open to regular commercial traffic on Monday, but the new lane is not cheap.
The cost for passage can approach one million dollars. The canal authority says it already has more than 150 reservations for the new locks through the end of the year.