Port Signs Agreement with Panama Canal Authority to Promote Trade

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Officials from the Port of Long Beach and the Panama Canal Authority on Tuesday, December 7, agreed to a series of efforts to promote more trade between Latin America and the U.S.

With the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, the two authorities agreed to exchange marketing ideas aimed at boosting trade between Long Beach and countries in the East Coast of South America and the Caribbean, via the Panama Canal. The MOU also calls for an exchange of ideas in the areas of engineering, dredging technology and environmental practices.

“Latin America is a relatively small but an emerging trade partner for our region,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Richard D. Steinke. “This partnership will help increase our reach to this market as it expands.”

“The Port of Long Beach is a key logistics leader, and we look forward to promoting the Canal to increase international trade among Long Beach, Latin America and the Caribbean,” said Panama Canal Authority (ACP) Administrator/CEO Alberto Alemán Zubieta.

The Panama accord covers marketing activities and the exchange of technical expertise in several areas, including engineering, training and environmental programs.

“This accord expands the global network of port authorities, like the Port of Long Beach and the ACP, who are dedicated to green, sustainable and efficient development,” said Long Beach Harbor Commissioner Mario Cordero. “The Port of Long Beach is dedicated to growing that network and has signed similar agreements with several ports in China, Europe and Mexico.”

While trade with Latin America accounts for a small percentage of the Port’s annual trade volume, officials hope to tap into emerging manufacturing markets to boost future trade. The Canal is undergoing an expansion project expected to be completed by 2014, which will allow larger ships to transit through.

The MOU further expands an international network of maritime entities dedicated to pursuing green, sustainable developments. The Port of Long Beach has similar MOUs in place with several ports in China, Europe and Mexico.

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