Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Port of Long Beach, Panama Canal Renew Pact

The Port of Long Beach and the Panama Canal Authority have renewed an agreement that promotes more trade between the United States and Latin America.

With the renewal of the agreement, which first signed in December 2010, the two authorities agree to continue to share marketing ideas aimed at boosting trade between Long Beach and countries along South America’s east coast and in the Caribbean via the Panama Canal.

“This is an excellent example of how two institutions, each with more than 100 years of innovation, can share ideas to improve commerce, engineering and environmental sustainability,” Panama Canal Administrator Jorge L. Quijano said.

The memorandum of understanding also facilitates the exchange of ideas for seaport engineering, dredging and environmental practices. The accord also covers marketing activities and the exchange of technical expertise in training and other areas. “We continue to work together to increase our trade with the nations of Latin America,” Port of Long Beach Executive Director Chris Lytle said. “We see this pact as a long-term, mutually beneficial agreement.”

Trade with Latin America accounts for a small percentage of Long Beach’s annual trade volume, but port officials say they hope to expand service to emerging markets to boost future trade. The Canal is undergoing an expansion project expected to be completed by 2015, which would allow larger ships to transit.

The Port of Long Beach has similar agreements in place with ports in China, Europe and Mexico.