Today, the Panama Canal Authority commemorated 100 years of Panama Canal operations, honouring the construction of the Canal and its significance to Panama and the world. The European Investment Bank (EIB) supported the expansion of the Canal, which is one of its flagship projects in Latin America. EIB’s President Werner Hoyer attended the celebration.  

Together with other international financial institutions, the EU bank is one of the main financiers of the Canal’s expansion. Prior to its expansion, commercial routes originating or ending in Europe represented some 12% of the Panama Canal’s use as it is the most efficient route for trade between Europe and the west coast of the Americas and part of Asia. With the expansion of the Canal, this figure is very likely to increase.

The new Panama Canal locks will enable a new generation of larger ships to cross the Central American isthmus and link ports in Asia, America and Europe. The huge engineering project currently provides direct employment for nearly 30 000 people. Last year the State-owned canal provided more than USD 1 billion for spending on public services in Panama.

Panama City is the second stop of President Hoyer’s official trip to Central America which began in Honduras on 13 August.