Updated 07:18 PM EDT, Thu, Oct 21, 2021

Nicaragua’s Construction Sector Expected to Improve Through 2016 & Beyond

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Nicaragua's construction sector is expected to undergo improvements.

Rodrigo Pereira, president of the Chamber of Construction, said on Sunday that the country's construction industry grew 18 percent in 2015 and is expected to boom up to 17 percent this year, teleSUR reported.

The construction sector's growth has been strong and sustained in recent years under the presidency of Daniel Ortega, the news outlet noted. The construction industry also affects Nicaragua's the growth of hardware store businesses, as well as the major suppliers of materials and equipment to construction firms.

According to teleSUR, official data indicated that private construction increased by 20 percent in the second quarter of 2015 compared to the same period in 2014. Over 600 percent in the industrial area has been constructed.

Nicaragua has scheduled major projects through 2016 and beyond, teleSUR added. This includes a canal, which is a main hydroelectric project on the Caribbean Coast.

The country has exhibited steady recovery after impoverished decades caused by interventions from the United States and multinational corporations, teleSUR wrote. However, Nicaragua is still yet to prioritize lessening poverty with the absence of a developed industrial infrastructure and sources of capital accumulation like mineral and energy resources.

Nicaragua Pushes Through with Chinese-Backed Canal Project

Despite setback after setback, Nicaragua is still adamant in pursuing a $50 billion canal project backed by China.

Manuel Coronel Kautz, the head of Nicaragua's Canal Authority, said that topographical and archaeological studies for the 170-mile long project are about to be completed, Bloomberg reported. Ortega awarded the waterway project to Hong Kong-based HKND Group three years ago.

Chinese officials visited Nicaragua last month to inspect the Pacific Coast town of Brito where the port's construction is set to kick off in December, which is almost a year of delay, the news outlet added. China is reportedly facing financial woes, which prompted speculations that funding for the canal project will be on hold.

Supporters of the waterway project said that it will attract larger vessels that won't fit through the century-old Panama Canal, Bloomberg noted. It is also expected to lift Nicaragua's $12 billion economy.

However, engineers and shipping experts have expressed doubts over the viability of the project, the news outlet added. Protests were held in January, while a survey by Cid Gallup found that 34 percent of Nicaraguans view the project as "pure propaganda." Some residents also believe that the canal is Ortega's plan to gather support ahead of the presidential election in November.

The government, on the other hand, published a separate study indicating that 81 percent of Nicaraguans support the waterway, according to Bloomberg.

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