Panama City, Panama, April 10, 2013 – Panama Canal Administrator Jorge L. Quijano discussed with maritime industry leaders the impact of the Expansion and the role it will play in trade between Asia and Latin America.

“We believe the expanded Canal will have a significant impact in many segments of the market,” Quijano said during his presentation in Sea Asia 2013 held this week in Singapore. “Most importantly, it will foster the growth of foreign trade of user countries through the Panama route.”

As part of his presentation in the Sea Asia Global Forum, the Panama Canal Administrator underlined the new opportunities the Expansion would open for global trade, in segments including container and dry bulk carriers, as well as the possible new market segment of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

“In the case of containerships, carriers will be able to deploy vessels of up to 13,200 TEUs through the Canal, allowing carriers to reduce their operating costs and carbon emissions, as well as provide a more timely delivery of goods,” Quijano added.

Quijano also highlighted the importance that the Panama Canal Expansion would have in the Asia-Latin America trade.

“In the future, we foresee trade growing between Asia and Latin America, where Panama also has a significant competitive advantage due to its unique geographical position at the nexus of the Americas,” Quijano stated. “With East Asia sourcing more and more raw materials out of Latin America, in particular coal and iron ore, the expanded Canal will offer enormous new opportunities.”

In addition, Quijano detailed the progress of the Expansion Program and mentioned the opportunities that the Expansion will generate for Panama to become a major transshipment hub.

The Panama Canal Expansion Program is a US$5.2 billion project that involves building a new lane of traffic along the waterway through the construction of a new set of locks to double the waterway’s capacity and satisfy the increasing demand of world maritime trade. The expanded Canal will have a direct impact on economies of scale, tightening global supply chain.

The other panelists during this session included: Mohammed Al Muallem, Senior Vice President and Managing Director – UAE Region, DP World; Masamichi Morooka, Chairman, International Chamber of Shipping and President and Chief Executive Officer, NYK-Hinode Line Ltd.; and Dr Jubara Al Sureisry, Minister of Transport, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The session’s chair was Chris Hayman, Chairman of Seatrade.

Following his presentation, Quijano and the other three distinguished panelists addressed the audience’s questions.

Sea Asia, organized by Seatrade and Singapore Maritime Foundation, is the world’s premier maritime conference and exhibition, gathering the most influential and respected leaders in the maritime industry. The Sea Asia 2013 conference and exhibition is held at Marina Bay Sands Convention Center in Singapore on April 9-11, 2013.

About the Panama Canal Authority (ACP)
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