Esteban Diez-Roux on expanded Panama Canal: We need strong links

By 2015, the Panama Canal is expected to expand thrice its current capacity. The big question, according to Esteban Diez-Roux, principal transportation specialist at the Inter-American Development Bank, is if countries in the region can handle the increase in transport flows.

Diez-Roux spoke with Devex on the sidelines of the recently held annual meeting of the Inter-American Development Bank in Panama City about the impact of Panama Canal’s expansion.

During the four-day conference, findings of an assessment on the performance and connectivity of ports in Central America, Belize, and the Dominican Republic were released with much fanfare. The report underscores the need for the public sector to coordinate its priorities and objectives to ensure efficient logistics performance.

Echoing the report’s recommendation, Diez-Roux told Devex: “We’re going to need some coordination among countries to make sure that the customs system, for example, they are in place so these transportation flows can go smoothly cross-borders. It doesn’t make sense to have all these flows, the new canal, then things being stopped at the border. The whole system has to work as one, and the whole logistical system has to permit the transfer of these flows.”

Watch more of our interview with Esteban Diez-Roux, part of our ongoing video interview series recorded live at the IDB annual gathering, and check the rest of our coverage on the event.

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