Today, Panama Canal Authority (ACP) Administrator/CEO Alberto Alem ¡n Zubieta and Curacao Ports Authority (CPA) General Managing Director Richard Julius Lopez Rami­rez (pictured left) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to jointly foster commercial activity between the two entities. Renewable on a two-year basis, the MOU aims to generate new business in tourism and trade for each country's continued economic growth.

"The Memorandum of Understanding with the Curacao Ports Authority will strengthen each of our abilities to serve the needs of the international maritime community," said Mr. Alem¡n Zubieta. "Curacao and Panama will work together to promote the route to Curacao via the Canal, fostering cruise business and regional trade of petroleum products in the coming years."

As part of the MOU, the ACP and CPA will undertake a series of activities to promote the oceanic exchange of goods including joint advertisements, data interchange and competitive market analyses of the shipping industry. In addition, the ACP and CPA will share information on their latest advancements, such as modernization efforts and personnel training programs. The agreement demonstrates each organization's commitment to meet increasing levels of trade. As the Panama Canal continues its Expansion Program, Curacao is working toward increasing capacity to meet the needs of its customers.

With direct links to major markets and telecommunications infrastructure, the Port of Willemstad Curacao's largest port is at the center of the CPA's capital improvement plan. We now look forward to the opportunities this MOU will bring for both entities, as we constantly work to enhance our services, said Mr. Lopez Rami­rez, general managing director of CPA. One of the Caribbean's most developed and organized ports, Curacao continues to maximize its strategic location, offering the region's largest dry dock, modern cruise terminals and a state-of-the-art mega cruise facility, said Mr. Agusti­n Diaz, managing director of CPA.

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.