Panama, July 18th.

Mr. Jorge Barakat Pitty was ratified by the Plenary Session of the National Assembly (TN: the Panamanian Parliament), as the new administrator of the Panama Maritime Authority, for the five-year period that begins in 2014 and ends in 2019.

Once Mr. Barakat’s documentation had been reviewed by the Accreditation Committee – which was chaired by Mr. Luis Barría (congressman) – and it was established that Mr. Barakat met the requirements for the position, the plenary session – chaired by Mr. Adolfo Valderrama (congressman) – ratified his appointment as the new administrator of the Panama Maritime Authority.

“From today onward, we set out to achieve new goals that will be in force during this five-year period of work.” In the presence of the Legislative Assembly’s plenary session, Mr. Barakat further stated: “The task will be arduous, but I intend to make a radical U-turn within the Maritime Authority, placing it as an honest and effective entity, at the service of the international maritime market.”

The new administrator stated that this entity will make a 180-degree turn, facing the challenges of the sea as a renewed, honest and transparent entity. “Among our plans, we can name that of promoting a strategy on the subject of the concessions so that the State’s revenues and the job opportunities in this area grow for the benefit of the country. We have a huge task ahead of us that needs to be done; it starts right now” – he concluded.

Barakat has a Degree in Law and Political Science, Sigma Lambda Chapter of Honor at the University of Panama; he has an MA in Negotiation, Mediation and Arbitration at the Latin-American University of Science and Technology; he made Specialized Higher Studies (postgraduate education) on the topic “Alternative Methods for Conflict Resolution” at the same study center, where he received an honorary degree “Summa Cum Laude."

Currently, he is a professor at the Panama International Maritime University, where he teaches “International Maritime Conventions." He is also Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors.

In the public sector, Mr. Barakat was Court Clerk ad interim, Chief Clerk III and General Notary III at Panama’s Maritime Court, during the period between 1999 and 2003.

In the private sector, Mr. Barakat has held several positions within the judiciary sector as a Legal Assistant in the Litigation Area; he has been adviser Ad Honorem in Legal and Consular Matters in Panama’s Consulate, in Ottawa, Canada. He is a founder member of the law firm Barakat-Pitti & Associates.

Mr. Barakat is a member of the Panamanian Association of Maritime Law (APADEMAR), where he served as commissioner on the reforms of the Maritime Code 2006-2008. Furthermore, he is also a member of the National Bar Association of Panama as delegate to the Commission on Maritime Law.