Friday , 24 January 2020
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Singapore’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, George Yeo, visited the Panama Canal on September 16, 2006, and expressed his country’s support for the proposed expansion plan. "The Panama Canal expansion is important not just for Panama but for the entire [maritime] industry – for the global economy," he said.

Singapore minister backs Canal expansion plans

Mr Yeo travelled to Panama as part of an official delegation that included the Panamanian ambassador to Singapore, Eduardo Real. The delegation was received and briefed by Dr Ricuarte Vásquez, Minister of Canal Affairs and chairman of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP).

Earlier this year, Singapore signed a Free Trade Agreement with Panama. Mr Yeo commented: “Singapore is a maritime hub. We live on trade. And the more open the world is to free movement of ships, the better it is for Singapore. We hope that you widen the Canal because it is good for the overall system.”

Panama’s citizens will vote on the proposed expansion in a national referendum to be held on October 22. If approved, the project will create a third lane of traffic along the waterway through the construction of a new set of locks, and will double the Canal’s current capacity. The expansion is planned to maximise Panama’s strategic location as a maritime hub for the Americas, according to the ACP.