Türkiye aims for technical co-op with Panama on huge waterway project
Türkiye, under a new agreement, is aiming for technical and administrative cooperation with Panama for the country’s huge waterway project, Kanal Istanbul, Deputy Foreign Minister Faruk Kaymakcı said
Kaymakçı said at the last meeting of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Grand National Assembly of Türkiye that the maritime agreement with Panama was ratified.
The agreement also aimed to increase maritime trade between the two countries.
Expressing that they think the agreement will provide a solid foundation for relations in the maritime field, Kaymakcı said, “With the agreement, the regulation of bilateral relations in the maritime field, the development of bilateral cooperation within the scope of equality, mutual benefit and assistance, increasing navigational safety and security, increasing maritime trade between the two countries and reducing bureaucratic obstacles were the focus.”
He said they aim to minimize or completely remove the environmental damage of maritime transport, to mutually recognize seafarer certificates, to create a basic text for legal disputes in the field of maritime and to increase coordination in the field of maritime trade.
Expressing that the Panama Canal comes to mind when Panama is mentioned, Kaymakcı said, “I don’t think there will be any harm in seeing and sharing Panama’s experience and technical knowledge on this subject.”
Noting that Panama, where 7,980 ships are registered, has the world’s largest ship registration system, Kaymakcı said: “Panama is a country that has a weight in the International Maritime Organization. The Panamanian fleet constitutes 12% of the international maritime industry.”
Championed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and revealed in 2011, Kanal Istanbul is one of Türkiye’s most strategic megaprojects.
It is set to relieve congestion and improve safety on the Bosporus by diverting large ships with dangerous cargo away from population centers.
The canal will connect the Black Sea north of Istanbul to the Marmara Sea to the south, is designed as an alternative global shipping lane, and is estimated to cost around TL 75 billion ($9.2 billion).
The government says it will ease shipping traffic on the Bosporus, one of the world’s busiest maritime passages and prevent accidents similar to that of Egypt’s Suez Canal, where a giant container ship became lodged and blocked the channel for almost a week.
The 45-kilometer (28-mile) canal, which will be built in Istanbul’s Küçükçekmece-Sazlıdere-Durusu corridor, will boast a capacity of 160 vessels a day and is expected to create significant economic value by reducing transit periods and costs, in addition to passage fees.