Panama City, Panama, November 26, 2008 – Panama Canal Authority (ACP) Administrator/CEO Alberto Alemán Zubieta and Port of Miami Seaport Director Bill Johnson renewed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to facilitate global trade and promote economic growth in the United States and Panama. First initiated in 2003, the agreement is renewable on annual basis and asserts the ACP’s commitment to addressing growing international cargo and freight capacity needs.

“The Port of Miami is an internationally recognized trade hub and a key Canal business partner,” said Mr. Alemán Zubieta. “The renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding with the Port of Miami underscores our strong commercial bonds and our joint commitment to market-based, regionally driven solutions for the international maritime community and its trade routes.”

Both the ACP and the Port of Miami are dedicated to further increasing capacity and fostering growth. In 2007 alone, roughly 2.1 million tons of general cargo came to the Port of Miami through the Canal. Additionally, the Port serves more than 20 shipping lines that call on more than 100 countries and 250 ports across the world. Now, the Port is preparing for the expansion of the Canal, which will further enhance its ability to serve the regional and international maritime community.

“The Port of Miami is proud to renew its partnership with the Panama Canal Authority,” said Mr. Johnson. “The Port of Miami is the closest U.S. Port to the Panama Canal.  We will be in a key strategic position to accommodate the world’s largest cargo vessels as a result of the expansion of the Canal.”

Slated for completion in 2014, the Panama Canal expansion project 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 Port of Miami
The Port of Miami is among America’s busiest ports and recognized across the globe with the dual distinction of being the Cruise Capital of the World and the Cargo Gateway of the Americas. The Port contributes more than $17 billion annually to the South Florida economy and helps provide direct and indirect employment for more than 176,000 jobs.

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 operation of the ACP is based on 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/.