Written by By Staff Writer
The Panama Canal Authority recently released a review of its economic impact on the country. The analysis found that the vast majority of the money collected in tolls over the past decade was used to fund the building of the world’s longest waterway.
To date, the canal and its construction has resulted in a “total of $7.2 billion in toll revenue.” The Authority said it distributed $2.2 billion to the Government, Panamanian industry, Panama City municipal governments, all international entities that worked with the Canal authority, private funding companies and, of course, migrants who crossed the canal to search for a better life.
By overwhelming margin, nearly $2.2 billion went to migrants who used the Canal as a gateway for migration purposes, with the exception of Panama City itself.
Most of the flows from the Americas — almost 69% — were inbound and included 62,930 crossings by Panamanians. The second largest group of migrants were from Mexico, with a small number of Mexican nationals across the other two routes as well.
Arrivals from Europe were the third-largest category. The Authority said the numbers of migrations from Italy, Portugal, Ireland, Spain, Russia, Bulgaria, Poland, Sweden, Hungary, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, Germany, Poland, Portugal, Croatia, Romania, Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, Turkey, Japan, Philippines, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Estonia, Thailand, Colombia, Bolivia, Venezuela, Columbia, Vietnam, Chile, Ecuador, and Panama were not included in the review.
The Panama Canal Authority
Looking back at the past decade of the Portfolio, the Panama Canal will only be selling tolls until the mid-2020s when it plans to start charging fees based on the traffic count. The Authority aims to attract $400 million from private toll-paying companies by 2050.
That money is needed to fund the Panama Canal in the future as the landmass of the Panama Canal will gradually become smaller and smaller with a projected 270,000 empty acres.
The Panama Canal Authority
To prepare for the future, the Authority is renovating the existing Canal to increase capacity and maintain the crucial link between the Atlantic and Pacific.
Since 2005, when the first phase of the expansion was completed, the Canal Authority has rehabilitated and resurfaced 48 million tons of concrete that have been built up since 1899.
Completed in 2015, the new $5.25 billion Double-Decker Canal will double the capacity of the passage by as much as 14,000.
A total of 24 gates are being added with a consolidated capacity of between 110,000 and 180,000 transits a year. The initial gate is scheduled to be inaugurated in the second quarter of 2017.