PANAMA CITY, Panama, July 19, 2007 – On his first official visit to Panama Tuesday, Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero visited the Panama Canal where he reiterated his interest in and support for the Canal expansion project.

Prime Minister Zapatero arrived at the Panama Canal Visitor’s Center in Miraflores for a one-day visit where he met Panamanian President Martín Torrijos. He was also greeted by the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) Board of Directors Chairman and Minister for Canal Affairs Dani Ariel Kuzniecky and ACP Administrator Alberto Aléman Zubieta.

In a statement thanking President Torrijos and the ACP, Mr. Zapatero said, “In this moment of economic growth and development for Panama, this ambitious project to expand the Canal will further establish Panama as the center of global commerce in Latin America.” Additionally, the Prime Minister, accompanied by Spanish businessmen interested in the expansion, expressed a strong desire to strengthen the economic relationship between the two countries and to encourage Spanish business investment in Panama and the project.

“The Spanish Prime Minister’s visit demonstrates the economic importance and value of the Panama Canal expansion project for Spain and the international community. We greatly appreciate the support and enthusiasm of the Spanish government,” said Mr. Alemán following the presentation.

About the Panama Canal Authority
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) is the autonomous agency of the Government of Panama in charge of managing, operating and maintaining the Panama Canal. The ACP is governed by its organic law and the regulations approved by its Board of Directors. For more information, please refer to the Panama Canal Authority’s Web site: http://www.pancanal.com/. For Panama Canal video, please visit www.thenewsmarket.com/panamacanal.