Panama celebrates today 19 years of controlling the interoceanic Canal, which has generated it more than 15,000 million dollars in revenues, a little more than half of the country's current public debt, of about 26,000 million dollars.
The administrator of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP), Jorge Quijano, highlighted in his report that "we Panamanians should be proud of these 19 years in which the Canal has established itself as one of the main international trade routes, offering a reliable, safe and profitable service that generates multiple benefits for Panama".
"In response to the constitutional mandate to operate safely, continuously, efficiently and profitably, the Panama Canal has delivered direct contributions to the National Treasury for $ 15,032 million since 2000, registering in the fiscal year 2018 a historic annual contribution of 1,703 million", he said.
In 85 years of American operation (1914-1999), Panama received just over 1,500 million dollars of its most valuable asset, which it recovered at noon on December 31, 1999, in compliance with the 1977 Torrijos-Carter Treaties.
Quijano emphasized that in 2006 Panamanians decided to build the third set of locks, operational since 2016, which has resulted in an increase in contributions received by the State.
Nearly 35,000 Panamanians worked on that project, in which almost 6,000 million dollars were invested.
He remembers that there is also a positive indirect economic effect due to purchases from local suppliers and the contributions made to the Treasury by almost 10,000 Canal workers.
Quijano recalled that was also assumed the construction of Mendoza water treatment plant in the district of La Chorrera, which supplies water to more than 200,000 residents of the province of Panamá Oeste; and the planting of 3.3 million seedlings in reforestation programs throughout the country.
The Panama Canal has coordinated a model plan in Latin America that has benefited more than 7,000 people with titles of property to their lands in the hydrographic basin, as well as the training of 1,250 farmers in sustainable productive activities to care for water sources, he remembered.
He remarked that "in these 19 years, the Panamanian administration has allowed to multiply the presence of the interoceanic road in different latitudes of national life, leaving traces in areas such as culture, the preservation of historical memory and the promotion of sustainability programs in the Canal Hydrographic Basin".
In addition, every year around 20,000 people, especially students and educators, are part of “El Canal de Todos”, a didactic initiative for Panamanians from all over the country to get to know the operation of the interoceanic road by touring the visitors’ centers.