Key Benefits of Panama Canal
The Panama Canal was completed in 1914 and it is the waterway which adjoins the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Even though efforts to build this waterway began much earlier, the project was stalled severally due to different reasons. While the French were the first to begin working on the Panama Canal, they did not get the privilege of completing it. This is because many of the laborers working under Ferdinand de Lesseps, who engineered the Suez Canal too, could not bear the tropical Latin American weather. They succumbed to tropical diseases like yellow fever and malaria hence leading to the stoppage of the project altogether.
Americans eventually purchased the company which was in charge of constructing the canal after it had run bankrupt. The Americans hired a very competent doctor to work with the constructors and this helped to contain the diseases. Eventually the canal which ran across Central America was completed.
Major benefits of the Panama Canal
To date, many countries have benefited from the construction of the Panama Canal. However, the US and Japan have been the most consistent in using the canal. Latin American countries have also been using the canal to transport their cargoes across to America. However, almost every American product that is transported to and from the country has to pass through the Panama Canal.
The completion of the Panama Canal greatly boosted trade between America and other countries in the world. The position of the US as the economic superpower of the world makes the Panama Canal very significant because with the rise in trade in US products, there is an upward rise in world trade. Japan and Latin American countries were also able to transport their products more easily to the US as well as other markets.
Revenue for economies
The Panama and the US have been able to generate revenue from the operations of the Panama Canal. This is gained from the taxes that the countries charge for passage of vessels through the canal. Both Panama and the US share control of the waterway and earn revenues in millions of dollars from the charges they have put in place. Although the figures have stagnated, as at 1980s, panama got 9% of its GDP from the canal.
Creation of employment
The Panama Canal has created employment in varied forms. There are ship builders and repairers who gain from building vessels that ferry cargoes through the canals. Additionally, there are people who load and offload the vessels once they get to the harbors.
There are also authorities who inspect the cargoes and those that man and patrol the canal for security purposes. In addition, several service oriented activities have been created because of the existence of the Panama Canal. These range from shipping activities, storage and warehousing, distribution of products and boarding facilities. All these have created employment opportunities for different parties within and outside the Panama Canal.
Reduced Transport Costs
By linking two different oceans and also the extreme opposites of the region, the Panama Canal has greatly reduced transport constraints and costs. It is estimated that the canal has reduced the distance between California and New York City by 8,000 miles. This is just one of the few distances that have been shortened because of the canal. Transport of goods and people has become much easier because of the construction and completion of the Panama Canal.
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