Panama, August 6. Nicaragua was the gathering place for the Tenth Central American Port Statistic Meeting (REDMARPOR). This forum is coordinated by the Central American Commission for Maritime Transport (COCATRAM). On behalf of the Panama Maritime Authority, Mrs. Jacqueline Ulloa, Head of the Statistics Department (Bureau of Planning) participated in this meeting.

REDMARPOR is a specialized forum for discussion on port maritime statistics regarding Central America. The forum aims to keep updated the flow of statistical information between the port industries and the maritime authorities that take part in it. This year, the forum was attended by countries such as Panama, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

The head of the Department of Statistics of the Panama Maritime Authority stated: “Every year, this meeting allows sharing experiences between the maritime authorities of the region and the port companies. We discuss the methods that each one uses to manage the data, and we share best practices and we measure the progress that the region displays in this area.”

The Temporary Committee concluded that the “Cargo Manifest” is the only document accepted as a source of information that can be used in order to obtain details about the loaded and unloaded cargo at each port. This committee consists of representatives of the National Port Commission of Guatemala (CPN), the representative of the Port Administration Board and Development of the Atlantic Coast of Costa Rica (JAPDEVA) and the representative of the Panama Maritime Authority.

Mr. Jose Dopeso, Director of the Port Maritime Affairs of COCATRAM, reported that member countries, including Panama, have performed “satisfactorily” in their mission of keeping updated the statistical data. Finally, Mr. Dopeso concluded: “Soon, we will be sending a survey to members of the network in order to collect information about how the Cargo Manifest is handled in every country.”

As part of this meeting, the members of the Network proceeded to review the terms of reference in order to implement a Port Performance Indicator System, which can be used by the members of REDMARPOR; COCATRAM assumed the responsibility for hiring a company to develop such a system. This system will be a valuable management tool for the port directors in Central America.

The most outstanding dissertations held during this meeting were those held by Mr. Henry Clement, Marketing Manager of Manzanillo International Terminal (in Panama), who spoke on the topic “The Importance of Statistics in the process of making business decisions” and that of Mr. Juan Echevarria, Project Manager of the Pacific Grain Terminal Company Ltd. (TERPAC), on the topic “The purity of the data. Statistics, an unavoidable challenge”

Costa Rica will host the next meeting, which will take place in 2015. Thus, the geographical sequence of countries in which the meetings are held is respected.