Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Long Beach Port Signs Info Exchange Agreement With Panama Canal

The Port of Long Beach and the Panama Canal Authority on Dec. 7 signed a memorandum of understanding covering a series of efforts to promote more trade between Long Beach and countries in the East Coast of South America and the Caribbean, via the Panama Canal.

The MOU calls for the port and Canal Authority to exchange ideas on dredging technology, engineering, environmental practices, and marketing.

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

Panama Canal Authority Administrator/CEO Alberto Alemán Zubieta noted that Long Beach is a key logistics leader and the Canal Authority looks “forward to promoting the Canal to increase international trade among Long Beach, Latin America and the Caribbean."

Long Beach Harbor Commissioner Mario Cordero said that the MOU helps expands an international network of maritime entities dedicated to pursuing green, sustainable developments.

“The Port of Long Beach is dedicated to growing that network and has signed similar agreements with several ports in China, Europe and Mexico,” said Cordero.

While trade with Latin America accounts for a small percentage of the port's annual trade volume, port 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.