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Panama Canal Receives Important Dignataries

Date: 17-AUG-2007

BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT LUIZ INÁCIO LULA DA SILVA AND EL SALVADORAN PRESIDENT ELÍAS ANTONIO SACA VISIT THE PANAMA CANAL, EXPRESS SUPPORT FOR AND INTEREST IN EXPANSION

PANAMA CITY, Panama, August 17, 2007 - Today, one week after Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva toured the Panama Canal with a delegation of Brazilian investors, El Salvadoran President Elías Antonio Saca visited the Canal as part of an official two-day tour to the country.

President Saca visited the Miraflores Locks in the company of Panamanian President Martín Torrijos and the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) Administrator/CEO Alberto Alemán Zubieta. They briefed him on the Canal Expansion Project and the leaders discussed its importance to the region's trade.

Like his Brazilian counterpart the week before, President Saca applauded ACP's plan for expansion and, in a public statement thanking President Torrijos and the ACP, President Saca echoed Lula's thoughts about this important project. "The expansion of the Panama Canal is an example of the many promising areas for investment, partnership, cooperation and financing that El Salvador and other Latin American countries hope to explore with our friends in Panama. The expansion will further establish Panama as one of the most important routes for world commerce benefiting Panamanians and the Latin American region," said Saca.

"Receiving both of these leaders has been an honor and demonstrates the economic importance of Panama and the value of the Expansion Project for the Latin American region overall," said Mr. Alemán after today's presidential visit. 

President Lula's visit to Panama was part of a tour through Central American countries focused on promoting cooperation agreements and Brazilian investments in the region. Brazil is the 18th largest user of the interoceanic waterway by trade flow, according to 2006 ACP data.

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 ACP is governed by 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. For Panama Canal video, please visit www.thenewsmarket.com/panamacanal.


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