The Panama Canal is meeting this week with top clients, government officials, and maritime authorities in China, Japan, and South Korea to reaffirm its relationship with customers and explain the impact of the Panama Canal expansion program in Asia.
“We always keep a close communication with our customers and this is a new opportunity to discuss issues of common interest, while we put into perspective the impact of Panama and the Canal expansion to maritime trade,” said Panama Canal Administrator, Alberto Alemán Zubieta.
China (second), Japan (fourth), and South Korea (fifth) are among the top five users of the Panama Canal.
As part of the approach in Asia, the Panama Canal participated in the JOC Container Shipping Conference 2012 in Shanghai, where the Executive Vice-President of Engineering and Project Management, Jorge Luis Quijano, presented the “Potential Impact of the Panama Canal Expansion in Global Supply Chain.”
In Shanghai, the representation of the Panama Canal had contact with directors of China Shipping Container Lines (CSCL), and while in Beijing they met Captain Wei Jiafu, President of COSCO Group Company and other executives of the firm.
“These direct contacts allow us to know first-hand what our customers and users of the Panama Canal think, with the goal of always providing quality service to uphold the competitiveness of the Panama route,” added Alemán Zubieta.
During this week, in Japan, Canal executives will also approach Tokyo government officials from the Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
While in Tokyo, Canal officials will meet with top executives from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and in the private sector with representatives of K-Line, MOL, Mitsui OSK Lines, and Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) and the Japanese Shipowners’ Association (JSA).
The meetings will continue in South Korea with executives from Samsung Heavy Industries and a tour to the facilities of the Busan Port Authority. In Seoul, the group will meet with executives from Hyundai and with officials from the Ministry of Land, Transport, and Maritime Affairs and the Korean Shipowners’ Association.
In the Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Quijano will depict the Panama Canal expansion and its future impact in world commerce.
Dredging Today Staff, June 7, 2012; Image: pancanal