PANAMA CITY, Panama, December 11, 2008 – On December 9, Panamanian President Martín Torrijos and Panama Canal Authority (ACP) Administrator/CEO Alberto Alemán Zubieta signed a $2.3 billion agreement with leaders from five multilateral and development agencies to finance the waterway’s most historic project to date: expansion.
In an official ceremony held at Panama’s Ascanio Arosemena Auditorium, Mr. Alemán Zubieta and top executives from the five agencies signed the agreement to officiate the financing package, which will cover a portion of the $5.25 billion Canal Expansion Program. President Torrijos also signed the agreement as an honorary witness.
Those in attendance and pictured left to right include: Francisco de Paula Coelho, Latin America and Asia director, European Investment Bank (EIB); Enrique Garcia Rodríguez, executive president, Corporación Andina de Fomento (CAF); Luis Alberto Moreno, president, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB); Martín Torrijos, Panamanian president; Alberto Alemán Zubieta, administrator and chief executive officer, Panama Canal Authority; Juan Jose Daboub, World Bank Group managing director, International Finance Corporation (IFC); and Yoshihiko Morita, vice president, Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC).
Representing Asia, Latin America, Europe and the United States, the agencies’ confidence in the expansion project demonstrates the Canal’s importance to Panama’s economic growth and world trade.
Expansion will build a new lane of traffic along the Panama Canal through the construction of a new set of locks, which will double capacity and allow more traffic and longer, wider ships.
About the Panama Canal Authority (ACP)
The ACP is the autonomous agency of the Government of Panama in charge of managing, operating and maintaining the Panama Canal. The ACP is governed by its organic law and the regulations approved by its Board of Directors. For more information, please refer to the ACP’s Web site: http://www.pancanal.com/.