The legacy of the Panama Canal in our country and in the entire world is unquestionable. In addition to shortening distances and facilitating trade between producing and consuming countries, the Canal supports the growth of the country, not only through its direct contributions to the State, but also as a promoter of a conglomerate of services related to the transit of ships, which results in numerous commercial activities, such as ports, land transportation, logistics, tourism, legal and financial services.
On June 26, 2016, thousands of Panamanians rejoiced in an event that marked a before and after in the history of the Canal in Panamanian hands. The inauguration of the expanded Canal has resulted in growing contributions to the State, which in 2020 amounted to B/.1,824 million. The third set of locks has allowed us to handle greater cargo volumes, which would have been impossible without the vote of confidence granted by Panamanians in the national referendum of October 2006.
Currently, 54% of the cargo transited through the Canal transits through the neopanamax locks, which positions them as the main source of income for the waterway, generating 58% of toll revenues, or B/.1,250,497,262, so far in fiscal year 2021. Likewise, the new locks have generated value by capturing new markets, such as the North American liquefied natural gas that transits through the Canal to supply the energy needs of Asian countries.
The waterway not only generates economic benefits, but also works towards long-term sustainability, both for the benefit of the Canal and Panamanians. In this edition of El Faro, for example, we feature the case of the Alhajuela Lake Farmers Union who, hand in hand with the Canal, develop entrepreneurial projects to improve their quality of life, while protecting the natural resources of the watershed.
We continue to focus on growing, adapting to changing scenarios while taking care of our resources. We have great challenges such as promoting digital transformation to achieve greater efficiencies, and ensuring water supply for more than half of the country’s population and for Canal operations.
By the end of this decade, we have the goal of becoming a carbon neutral organization, contributing to the conservation and preservation of the environment, within the framework of an integral commitment to make the Canal a sustainable company, at the service of its shareholders: all Panamanians.
Marianela Dengo de de Obaldía
Vice President of Communication and Corporate Image