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Panama Canal International Advisory Board 12th Meeting Press Release

Date: 22-MAY-2006

This week marks the twelfth meeting of the Panama Canal Advisory Board.  Traveling to Panama from all over the world, the Board members met to review and deliberate the study prepared by ACP on the proposed Canal expansion.

The Advisory Board reviewed all facts pertaining to this historic undertaking, and believes that the results reflect a comprehensive and realistic appraisal of all issues involved.  We commend the Canal leadership, the Country’s leadership, and the Panamanian people for the extraordinary work and professionalism that brings us to this momentous, sovereign decision by Panama.  As Board members we consider it a privilege to share our thoughts with you.

As evidenced by the signatures below, the Advisory Board unanimously believes Canal expansion with a third set of locks should be viewed as a matter of high priority for Panama, as the Canal today is almost at full capacity.

World trade is growing at a substantial pace.  The forecasted demand growth is realistic, but its benefit to Panama will only be captured if it proceeds with the Canal expansion as soon as practically possible.  The associated costs will be paid over a reasonable period of time by the Canal users, leaving no residual debt to Panama or the Panamanian people.

The Advisory Board applauds ACP’s exemplary performance since its assumption of all operational responsibilities at the end of 1999, and would like to express its full confidence in ACP’s ability to efficiently manage and execute all the Canal expansion tasks.

Canal expansion is the sovereign decision of the people of Panama. And, we are confident that Panamanians will consider fully the compelling short and long term benefits the Advisory Board believes will accrue to Panama and its people.

Key among these are:

  • A strong boost to Panama’s national economy
  • The Canal over the last six years has paid over the Government of Panama over $2.2 billion, or more than the total paid throughout the previous 85 years of operation
  • Increased employment opportunities for all Panamanians
  • Growing revenues from increased Canal traffic
  • Consolidation of Panama as a global commercial and maritime center to assure it’s rightful place in world economy.

Over six years this project has been thoroughly analyzed by independent industry experts in studying how best to ensure that Canal capacity keeps pace with the world’s growth in trade. We applaud Panama on bringing the Canal to this point, and look forward to this exciting and much needed expansion.

 

William A. O’Neil    
     
Philip A. Embericos Adm.William J. Flanagan Aaron Gellman
     
Flemming R. Jacobs Capt. Wei Jiafu Salvador A. Jurado
     
Gerhard Kurz Andrónico Luksic C. Albert H. Nahmad
     
Joe R. Reeder Stephan Schmidheiny Tommy Thomsen

 


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