Chinese firms are already involved in dozens of infrastructure projects in Panama. And that number is expected to increase with growing ties.
CGTN’s Roee Ruttenberg has more from Panama City.
Earlier this month, Panama’s President Juan Carlos Varela broke ground on a modern deep-water port in Colon. It’s being built by China Landbridge Group, a private firm that acquired the area next to the Atlantic entrance of the newly expanded Panama Canal.
“Today begins the most important Chinese investment in Panama with the construction of this terminal port in Isla Margarita in Colon an investment of around $700 million, a container port that can handle 2.5 million containers, with the capacity to receive the large Neopanamax ships,” Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela said.
The next week, in Beijing, in a surprise move, Varela’s government announced it had established diplomatic relations with China.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Pacific, construction continued on Ciudad Esperanza, or City of Hope.
When completed in 2018, it’ll include more than 2000 homes, a university, and a government building.
A Chinese state-owned enterprise is overseeing the project on the outskirts of Panama City. Work began more than a year before last week’s announcement.
Panama’s government also asked the firm to take over another project in the capital. When it’s finished next year – rain or shine – the Amador Convention Center will be the largest in Central America. CCA said it’ll be the jewel of Panama, and of its work here.
The company is already bidding on three more government projects. And is looking at funding some of its own development projects in Pamana.
More are expected, as relations take off in the coming years.