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News Release
FOR RELEASE - June 10, 2008
Contact: Aaron Ellis,

American Association of Port Authorities
Phone: (202) 792-4033

AAPA Congress of Latin American Ports To Be Held In Panama City, Panama, June 17-21

Highlights Include Canal’s Expansion and Benefits to International Commerce

Panama City will serve as the venue for the 17th AAPA Congress of Latin American Ports, as seaports throughout the Western Hemisphere tackle the issue of providing global cargo movement while minimizing bottlenecks in the efficient flow of commerce.  Building on two previous American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) seminars focusing on the Panama Canal expansion this year, the conference will look at issues such as ship sizes, regional transshipment, port finance and maritime training needed as a result of the canal expansion.   

"It is timely-even historic-that we are having our Latin American ports conference in Panama this year due to the dramatic developments underway, both in terms of canal expansion and with major port developments on both sides of the canal.  These developments will impact global trade for generations to come," said Kurt Nagle, AAPA's President and CEO. 

Sponsored by AAPA and hosted by the Panama Maritime Authority, with coordination and sponsorship from the Chamber of Shipping of Panama and the Panama Canal Authority, this three-day event will tackle the concerns of increasing trade volumes throughout the Western Hemisphere and the effects that canal expansion will have on goods movement.

The first day's activities begin with a meeting of AAPA's Latin American Delegation and a panel discussion of how increases in vessel sizes affect container traffic and shipping lines' routes in the Latin American and Caribbean regions. The afternoon program will feature Alberto Alemán Zubieta, Administrator of the Panama Canal Authority, and Fernando Solórzano, Administrator of the Panama Maritime Authority, who will address and provide examples from Panama's megaprojects and their effect on the Latin American and Caribbean regions.  In addition, Mexico's General Coordinator of Ports and Merchant Marine, Alejandro Chacón, will discuss the port of Punta Colonet, Mexico, and its role as competitor or complement to the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Session topics for the morning of the second day will focus on growth financing, transshipment issues and the need for developing multimodal transportation systems.  In the afternoon, seminar speakers will turn their attention to the emergence of the Pacific Basin ports as a source of new trade opportunities and a discussion of Brazil's nationalization of ports and whether its approach should serve as a model for other countries. The final event of the day will be a tour and reception at the Miraflores Locks Visitors' Center, courtesy of the Panama Canal Authority.

The final day will focus on short-sea shipping solutions and maritime-port training systems.  The first session will address the use of short-sea shipping and inter-ocean logistical corridors as fundamental tools for the competitiveness of Panama and the Central American region. Speakers will also present case studies on maritime-port training as a successful method to achieve quality port services.

The conference will end with a conclusions and recommendations session presided over by Armando Duarte, President Elect of the Latin American Delegation. A visit to the excavation site of the expanded Panama Canal will follow.  That evening, Consorcio Guaritico, host of the 2009 18th Congress of Latin American Ports in Isla Margarita, Venezuela, will host a farewell reception.  An optional tour of Panama Ports Company in Balboa will be available on June 21.

This conference is a required course for those seeking their Latin American Professional Port Manager® (PPM®) certification.

More information about AAPA's Congress of Latin American Ports is available at or by calling AAPA's Alicia Fuentes at 703-706-4708.

WHO:American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA)
WHAT:17th Congress of Latin American Ports
WHEN:June 17-21, 2008
WHERE:Hotel El Panamá, Vía España y Vía Venetto, Panama City, Panama; tel: (507) 269-5000, Ext. 2442 
MEDIA:Credentialed journalists interested in covering the seminar for media purposes are asked to contact Aaron Ellis,, to obtain a media pass.

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