TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras: Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez applauded the progress of a new 396-kilometer national highway, known as the "Dry Canal," connecting the Atlantic port of Puerto Cortes with the Pacific ports of Amapala and Henecan on the Gulf of Fonseca.
"International trade is vital to growing Honduras's economy," President Hernandez said. "This new highway is expanding opportunities for Honduran businesses and creating jobs for our citizens."
The Hernandez administration has committed nearly 10 billion lempiras -- about $420 million -- to the Dry Canal. According to government projections, the Dry Canal is expected to create 7,000 jobs. The highway is part of President Hernandez's $1.3 billion plan to turn Honduras into an international "Logistics Center" and an alternative to the Panama Canal.
The Brazilian company building the highway, Queiroz Galvao, expects the final section to be complete by May of this year.
The Dry Canal is already generating opportunities for Honduran entrepreneurs, who are opening businesses along the completed portions of the route.
The new highway is part of the Hernandez administration's long-term drive to boost economic growth. On Tuesday, the Honduran Central Bank announced that the Honduran economy grew between 4.3 percent and 4.5 percent in 2017.
The Hernandez administration has also received international recognition for its economic policies. In November 2017, the International Monetary Fund published a report saying that the current administration had "stabilized the economy" and "paved the way for accelerating growth and reducing poverty."
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