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President Martín Torrijos Approves Panama Canal Expansion Proposal and Submits It to the National Assembly

Date: 27-JUN-2006

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY TO REVIEW PROPOSAL;
 IF APPROVED, PROPOSAL WILL MOVE TO REFERENDUM

PANAMA CITY, Panama, June 27, 2006 – After thorough review, President Martín Torrijos and the Cabinet Council of Panama have approved the proposal to expand the Panama Canal. Yesterday, Dr. Ricaurte Vásquez, Chairman of the Panama Canal Authority’s (ACP) Board of Directors and concurrent Minister for Canal Affairs, submitted the said proposal to the National Assembly. The National Assembly will review the proposal and hold discussions that will be open to all Panamanian citizens. If approved, the Assembly will then create a law mandating a referendum to be held after 90 days in which the people of Panama will vote on expansion.

“Today marks an important milestone for Panama and its Canal, as we take another step toward shaping the future of our country and waterway,” said ACP Administrator/CEO Alberto Alemán Zubieta.

The Panama Canal expansion would be the largest project at the Canal since its original construction. The project would double the waterway’s capacity and allow more traffic by creating a new lane along the Canal through the construction of a new set of locks.

An expanded Canal would benefit the people of Panama and world trade, and would help maximize Panama’s geographic location. Expansion will also improve the flow of international commerce and facilitate the movement of goods through several important markets. It will increase capacity at one of the world’s critical trade arteries and allow the vital “All-Water Route” to continue to grow.

About the Panama Canal Authority
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) is the autonomous agency of the Government of Panama in charge of managing, operating and maintaining the Panama Canal. The operation of the ACP is based on its organic law and the regulations approved by its Board of Directors. For more information, please refer to the ACP’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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