"We always maintain close communication with our customers and this is a new opportunity for us to analyze issues of common interest, and at the same time put into perspective the impact of Panama and the Canal expansion on maritime trade," affirmed Panama Canal Administrator Alberto Alemán Zubieta.
China (second), Japan (fourth) and South Korea (fifth) rank among the five principal users of the Panama Canal.
As part of this strengthening of connections in Asia, the Panama Canal attended the International Conference on Ocean Containers, organized by the Journal of Commerce in the Chinese city of Shanghai, where the Executive Vice President of Engineering and Project Management, Jorge Luis Quijano, presented "The Potential Impact of the Panama Canal Expansion in the Global Supply Chain."
In Shanghai, the Panama Canal representatives met with directors of the China Shipping Container Lines (CSCL) company, while in Beijing a highlight was the meeting with Captain Wei Jiafu, president of COSCO Group Company and other executives of that firm.
"These direct contacts allow us to see first hand what Panama Canal clients and users think, with the objective of always providing quality service to maintain the competitiveness of the Panama route," indicated the administrator.
During this week in Japan, the Panama Canal will also meet with Tokyo government representatives, including officials from the Ministries of Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism and Foreign Affairs.
In Tokyo, the contacts included sessions with top executives from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), and meetings with the private sector will provide opportunity to dialogue with representatives of the shipping companies K-Line, MOL, Mitsui OSK Lines and Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK), in addition to the Ship Owners Association of Japan.
The meetings will continue in South Korea with executives of Samsung Heavy Industries, whom will provide tours of the facilities at the Busan Port Authority. Then, in Seoul there will be contacts with executives at the Hyundai firm, officials from the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs and directors of the Korean Association of Ship Owners.
Before the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the engineer Quijano will give a presentation on the Panama Canal, its expansion and future.