A Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs-organized Nicaraguan canal investment seminar kicked off Nov. 8 in Taipei City, buoying the Latin American nation’s hopes of attracting Taiwan private sector support for the US$30 billion project.
“Taiwan firms are encouraged to evaluate the possibilities of participating in the waterway’s construction and tapping the great business opportunities on offer,” a MOFA official said. “This will further bolster already close Taiwan-Nicaragua economic ties.”
Attended by Nicaragua Foreign Minister Samuel Santos Lopez and other high-ranking officials from both nations, the event is co-organized by the ROC Ministry of Economic Affairs and the government-backed Central America Trade Office and Chinese International Economic Cooperation Association.
Approved by the Nicaraguan government in July, the canal will link the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean. It is expected to have an annual cargo capacity of 416 million metric tons, or 3.9 percent of the global total upon opening in 2019. This should increase to 573 million metric tons, or 4.5 percent of the global total, by 2025, according to the MOFA.
The official said factors making the project an ideal investment include Nicaragua’s membership of the Dominican Republic-Central America-U.S. Free Trade Agreement and EU-Central America Association Agreement. The country also has FTAs with Mexico and Panama.
ROC-Nicaragua trade has increased significantly on the back of an FTA that came into force in 2008. Taiwan is the Central American country’s 10th largest trading partner, with two-way trade reaching US$88 million last year.