Now Ecuador wants to create Panama Canal alternative
Ecuador is the latest Latin American country to propose an alternative to the Panama Canal to link the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.
The Associated Press reported that Ecuador's President-elect Rafael Correa suggested a land-and-river trade route linking Brazil's Amazon rain forest to Ecuador's Pacific Coast, at the two-day South American Community of Nations summit that ended Saturday in Cochabamba, Bolivia.
Nicaragua's outgoing President Enrique Bolanos early October — before his country's general election and Panamanians said yes to the expansion of their canal — tabled the Grand Inter-Oceanic Nicaragua Canal project that he said could be built in 12 years at a cost of about $18 billion (December American Shipper, page 53-55).
The Nicaragua project if successful would be useable by ships of up to 250,000 deadweight tonnage, including containerships up to 18,000 TEUs in capacity, beyond the limit that could travel even the expanded Panama Canal.
According to newspaper reports, Nicaragua's President-elect Daniel Ortega earlier this month said that construction of the canal will be part of his government plan.
Another outcome of the South American leaders summit was an agreement to create a commission to explore the possibility of a continent-wide community similar to the European Union.