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Chinese firm starts work on $1bn Panamanian megaport; local workforce concerned

From Global Construction Review:

A $1bn project to build a new deepwater port and container terminal near the Caribbean entrance to the Panama Canal has begun. Both its developer and the firm building it are Chinese.

China Landbridge, a privately owned company based in the northern Chinese port of Rizhao, bought Panama’s largest port, at Margarita Island, in May last year and announced that it wanted to expand and modernise the facilities. The new high-speed, deepwater port will be called the Panama Colón Container Port (PCCP).

In line with China’s grand One Belt, One Road global strategy, the plan is to capitalise on the doubling in the capacity of the canal, which can now handle the New Panamax container ships that can transport up to 14,500 TEUs.

Its construction is expected to create 800 jobs. Some concern has been raised in Panamanian media that local workers may not benefit from this increase in employment.

The Panama America website quotes a stonemason called Reynaldo Bermúdez, 33, who intends to apply for a job, and who called on the project’s managers to hire Panamanians rather than “bringing in cheap labour from other parts of the world”.

More at Global Construction Review

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