PANAMA CITY, Panama, April 29, 2008 – In a strategic move, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) and the Virginia Port Authority (VPA) reaffirmed an alliance that will help to increase growth and trade, facilitate the flow of information sharing and promote the “All-Water-Route” (the route from Asia to the U.S. East Coast via the Panama Canal).

During an official ceremony today in Panama, ACP Administrator/CEO Alberto Alemán Zubieta and VPA Executive Director Jerry A. Bridges solidified their partnership by signing another Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The agreement further enforces the alliance between the Canal and the Port Authority, first initiated in June 2003.

“Our partnership with the VPA is more important than ever. As we embark on the next phases of the expansion project, data sharing and market studies exchange will continue to be essential elements of our collaboration,” said Mr. Alemán. “As the only U.S. East Coast port with the existing capability to handle post-Panamax vessels, the Port of Virginia is prepared for the waterway’s expansion.”

Sharing information and best practices related to modernization and improvement are key benefits of this agreement. Both the ACP and the VPA continue to implement measures to increase capacity and spur growth.

“While the expansion of the Canal is vital to world commerce, the Virginia Port Authority is also positioning itself for increased demand by building infrastructure and incorporating the necessary enhancements to accommodate the growth that is to come,” said Mr. Bridges. “We are highly anticipating expansion and will celebrate the opening of the new locks.”

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 Virginia Port Authority (VPA)
The VPA is an agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia, reporting to the Secretary of Transportation. It is the state’s leading agency for international transportation and maritime commerce, charged with operating and marketing the marine terminal facilities through which the shipping trade takes place. The agency owns four general cargo terminals – Norfolk International Terminals, Portsmouth Marine Terminal, Newport News Marine Terminal, and the Virginia Inland Port in Front Royal – which are operated by its affiliate, Virginia International Terminals, Inc.

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/.