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Singapore backs Panama Canal expansion plan

Singapore backs Panama Canal expansion plan

Panama City: Singapore's Minister for Foreign Affairs George Yeo has visited the Panama Canal and expressed support for the expansion proposal. "The Panama Canal expansion is important not just for Panama but for the entire (maritime) industry - for the global economy," he said during his September 16 visit.
Foreign Minister Yeo traveled to Panama as part of an official delegation, which also included Panamanian Ambassador to Singapore Eduardo Real, and was received at the Miraflores Visitors Centre by Minister of Canal Affairs and concurrent Panama Canal Authority (ACP) board chairman Dr. Ricaurte Vásquez, who briefed them on the expansion proposal and Canal operations.

The Panamanian people are to hold a referendum on the proposed $5bn expansion plan on October 22. The project would build a third lane of traffic along the waterway through the construction of a new set of locks, doubling Canal capacity.
Earlier this year, Singapore signed a Free Trade Agreement with Panama. Singapore's position as a maritime hub means it lives on trade, and "the more open the world is to free movement of ships, the better it is for Singapore," Yeo told Vasquez. "We hope that you widen the Canal because it is good for the overall system."  [19/09/06]

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