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Caribbean urged to take advantage of Panama Canal expansion
Caribbean countries are being urged to position themselves to take advantage of greater trading opportunities that may derive when the Panama Canal Expansion project is completed and commissioned by the first quarter of 2016. When it is completed, the Panama Canal will be able to facilitate the crossing of larger ships between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and as a result there would be need to set up at least two transshipment points in the Caribbean.
Rodolfo Sabonge, expert external adviser for the US-based management consulting firm, McKensey & Company, said there is already competition among Caribbean islands as to where that transshipment point should be. “It would be where there are other services and cluster activity, maybe in the maritime sector that would be able to contribute an added value to the shipping lines,” Sabonge said.
He is encouraging competing Caribbean countries to do a very in-depth risk analysis to avoid the pitfalls of making investments where there will be no real opportunities.