In the photo President Solís (right)with the Ministro de Seguridad Publica, Celso Gamboa. Photo from Solís' Facebook page.
In the photo President Solís (right)with the Ministro de Seguridad Publica, Celso Gamboa. Photo from Solís’ Facebook page.

QCOSTARICA – President Luis Guillermo Solís will travel to China next week, leading a Costa Rican delegation, in meetings to discuss bilateral trade.

The president, who will in Brazil tomorrow (January 1) for the inauguration of Wilma,  and will leave for China from Brazil on January 2, for the opening day of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), of which Costa Rica is the president pro tempore, members with the Asian country. The China visit will be for five days.

One of the issues that President Solís is expected to discuss with his Chinese counterpart is the Gran Canal de Nicaragua, the canal that is being constructed in Nicaragua with Chinese capital.

Many oppose the construction of the canal. Others are waiting for the start of construction (the physical work, given than many believe the project will never take place) before starting their opposition.

Official word from Casa Presidencial (Government House) is that the “canal” is not on the official agenda, however Solís is expected to discuss the subject informally with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping.

The concern of Costa Rica is the impact it (the canal) will have on our country.

The canal project that is in the hands of the Chinese company HKND Group,  a private enterprise, headed by businessman Wang Jing, under a 50 year concession agreement, with a renewal of 50 more years, with the Nicaraguan government of Daniel Ortega.

One of the concerns of the canal construction, a project larger than the Panama Canal, is the 105 kilometres that runs through the Reserva Cocibolca – that includes Lago Cocibolca, the main source of freshwater in Central America.

Nicaragua argues that the Canal, besides tripling employment in the next three years, will lead the country of poverty and more than double the country’s Gross Domestic Production.

Although the project has the green light, protests that was the cause of two deaths last week, has forced forced delays to the December 22 start date.

The Ministro de Obras Públicas y Transportes (MOPT), Carlos Segnini and the president of RECOPE, Sara Salazar, will be part of the delegation to China, to discuss with Chinese counterparts works projects in Costa Rica, two of which are the reconstruction and expansion of the Ruta 32 (San José – Limón) and the refinery project in the province of Limón.