“Most Voted forWeb Site by Users in Central America”
in Golden @ Contest;
Award Sponsored by Microsoft – El Salvador

PANAMA CITY, Panama, October 6, 2003 – The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) Web site (www.pancanal.com) received special recognition in the 2003 Golden @ Contest of El Salvador as the “Most voted for Web site” by users in Central America. Accepted on behalf of the ACP by Roderick Guerra, Ambassador of Panama to El Salvador, the award was sponsored by Microsoft – El Salvador and El Diario de Hoy, a leading newspaper in El Salvador.

Launched in December 2000, Pancanal.com was constructed by an in-house graphics design team, executing the vision of Webmaster Leyla Raymondo and the ACP Corporate Communications Department.

The Canal Web site provides detailed and up-to-date information about the operations and administration of the Panama Canal, in both Spanish and English. A vital resource to shippers, the Web site offers weather reports, maritime advisories and information on procedures to transit the Canal, allowing companies and the shipping industry worldwide to efficiently plan their trips through the Canal.

To the public and the media, the Web site is an invaluable educational tool with unique information, including: live shots of ships transiting the Canal, records on the workings and management of the Canal, official documents and news on the maritime industry around the world.

“The ACP is thrilled to be recognized by voters in the Golden @ Contest; we are committed to providing a practical, informative and creative Web site. Pancanal.com is an essential tool for the maritime industry, serving as a gateway to information for our customers worldwide to help them with their transportation and logistical needs,” said Information Technology Director of the ACP, Francisco Loaiza.

Loaiza continued, “In addition, people all over the world, including those who supported us in this competition, access the site on a daily basis to receive information and learn about the Canal. We take pride in our ability to communicate over the Internet the great things happening at the Canal.”

Announced August 21, 2003, the Golden @ Contest awards more than $70,000 to the best public Web sites that target a Central American market or that offer products and services to a Central American country. The second annual contest was open to corporations, administrators of Central American countries, Web designers and novices. For consideration, the Web site was required to have been launched by June 3, 2002, and must still be operating.

The ACP Web site was previously recognized on May 30, 2003, with the 2003 Golden @ in Panama in the “Government and Associations” and “Best Projection in Panama” categories.


About the Panama Canal Authority

The Panama Canal Authority is the autonomous agency of the Government of Panama in charge of managing, operating and maintaining the Panama Canal. The operation of the Panama Canal Authority is based on its organic law and the regulations approved by its Board of Directors. For more information, please refer to the Panama Canal Authority’s website: http://www.pancanal.com/.

The Authority’s responsibility to the Panamanian people is paramount. The Canal belongs to the people and benefits from the Canal should accrue to as many Panamanians as possible. The Authority will plan its future so that it will continually contribute to the economic development and welfare of the people of Panama.

For nearly 90 years, the Panama Canal has served as the global gateway – a pathway for the shipment of major world commodities. Since the end of 1999, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) assumed the responsibility for the management, operation and modernization of the Canal and the protection and conservation of its watershed. In the past four years, the ACP has made significant strides – shifting to a market-oriented business model focused on customer service and reliability, making major capital investments for new and modern equipment and machinery, increasing safety and operational efficiency for customers, decreasing the time it takes ships to travel through the Canal and widening and deepening sections of the waterway. An important transportation link, the Canal services more than 140 different transportation routes from every corner of the globe. It is where major trading routes of the world connect and intersect providing safe, reliable and secure passage for all vessels.