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Panama Canal CEO Speaks at IDB Conference in Japan

Date: 13-APR-2005

PRESENTS VIEWS OF WORLD TRADE, CANAL'S LONG-TERM STRATEGY

PANAMA CITY, Panama, April 13, 2005 - Alberto Alemán Zubieta, Administrator and CEO of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP), delivered presentations on April 10th and 11th at the 46th Annual Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) meeting in Okinawa, Japan. Alemán Zubieta briefed the participants on trends associated with growth of world trade, operational metrics of the Canal and the current status of the Canal's long-term business plan. He also spoke of the growth of Panama's maritime industry, including signs that Panama is becoming a true maritime hub.

Alemán Zubieta highlighted to the IDB that since the handover of the Canal in 1999, the waterway has been running safer, more efficient and more reliable than ever before in its 90-year history. Since the transfer, operational metrics reveal significant decreases in the number of official accidents and in Canal Waters Time, the average time it takes a vessel to transit the Canal including waiting time for passage. He attributes this success to the ACP's world-class workforce, unique management model and the operational certification the Authority receives, such as certification with the International Organization for Standardization.

The IDB was founded in 1959 as a partnership between 19 Latin American countries and the United States; Panama is one of the 19 original member countries.

About the Panama Canal Authority
The Panama Canal Authority is the autonomous agency of the Government of Panama in charge of managing, operating and maintaining the Panama Canal. The operation of the Panama Canal Authority is based on its organic law and the regulations approved by its Board of Directors. For more information, please refer to the Panama Canal Authority's Web site: www.pancanal.com.

The Authority's responsibility to the Panamanian people is paramount. The Canal belongs to the people and benefits from the Canal should accrue to as many Panamanians as possible. The Authority will plan its future so that it will continually contribute to the economic development and welfare of the citizens of Panama.



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