Panama City, 4 September 2001. – The Panama Canal’s Advisory Board will meet in Hong Kong from September 12 to15 to discuss issues vital for the waterway’s and Panama’s future.

During the meeting, the Canal’s Advisory Board, headed by William A. O’Neil, secretary general of the International Maritime Organization, and its Board of Directors, chaired by Canal Affairs Minister Ricardo Martinelli, will review many important topics, namely, the Canal’s tariff policies and forecasts. The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) will present the Canal’s modernization program, expansion plans, and global marketing policy geared to bolster the waterway’s position in world commerce. Due to the importance of this event, it will be covered by international media.

At the same time, the Hong Kong Shipowners’ Association will host the Panama Maritime Day to promote a closer rapport among the Asian maritime community, the Panama Canal Authority, and the Panama Maritime Authority.

Other members of the Advisory Board are Lillian Borrone, former director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; Philipp A. Embiricos, director of Embiricos Shipbrokers; Gerard Kurz, chairman and CEO of Seabulk International; Fleming R. Jacobs, chairman and CEO of NOL; Salvador Jurado, chairman of Building Components Group, Inc.; Joe R. Reeder, former chairman of the Panama Canal Commission’s Board of Directors; C.C. Tung, chairman of OOCL; and Tommy Thomsen, partner of Maersk Sealand.

he Panama Canal’s Board of Directors will be represented by Adolfo Ahumada, Eloy Alfaro, Moises D. Mizrachi, Raul Montenegro, Alfredo Ramirez, Abel Rodriguez, Roberto Roy, and Diogenes de la Rosa, secretary of the Board of Directors.

Canal Administrator Alberto Aleman Zubieta, Maritime Operations Director Jorge Quijano, Planning and Marketing Director Rodolfo Sabonge, Canal Capacity Project Manager Agustin Arias, and three assistants, make up the ACP’s executive delegation to the meeting.

On September 12, as part of the program for Panama Maritime Day, Jerry Salazar, administrator of the Panama Maritime Authority will present the topics “The Panamanian Ship Registry” and “Arrests of Seamen in Panamanian Territory”. As another highlight of the event, Hutchinson Port Holding will give a tour of the Port of Hong Kong to the Canal’s Advisory Board and Board of Directors.

The Hong Kong Meeting, preceded by the one celebrated in Panama last February, is a follow-up to the statements on efficiency and competitive strategy made in London in June 2001. The ACP sponsors these meetings every six months with the purpose of maintaining a close relationship with its customers. The meetings are held alternatively in Panama and in the capitals of the international maritime industry.

The cost of organizing these meetings in Hong Kong is approximately $400,000, sum that covers transportation, lodging, and travel allowances, and the logistics of the work sessions.

The importance of the topics that will be addressed in these forums, as well as the network of contacts that can be made, fully explain why representatives of maritime enterprises and law firms will also be attending this event in Hong Kong, at their own expense.