The Panama Canal Authority and the Mississippi State Port Authority at Gulfport signed a memorandum of understanding Monday aimed at increasing all-water trade between Asia and the U.S. East and Gulf Coasts via the Panama Canal.
The agreement between Gulfport and the Panama Canal, which is renewable after five years, will allow for joint marketing ventures, information sharing and technological exchange.
The MOU is one of a number that the canal authority has signed with most of the ports on the East and Gulf coasts that are designed to ensure a larger flow of trade after the canal authority completes the third set of locks it is building.
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“Today’s MOU signing represents a great opportunity for Panama and Mississippi to build upon our existing offerings and trade relationship through a mutually beneficial alliance,” said Canal Administrator Roberto Aleman Zubieta.
“One of the primary tenets of the authority is to continually look for creative approaches to boost trade flows and provide safe, reliable and efficient service to the international maritime community. This agreement is one way that we can help achieve this goal,” Aleman said.
In 2009, Panama was Mississippi’s third largest trading partner, in terms of exports, after Canada and Mexico.
“This agreement between the MSPA and the canal authority will provide a framework for our two entities to work together to pursue new business opportunities that will result from an expanded Panama Canal,” said Donald R. Allee, executive director of the Mississippi State Port Authority.
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