The Administrator of the Panama Maritime Authority, Mr. Jorge Barakat Pitty, who opened the plenary session of the twelfth version of Panama Maritime, made an assessment of the maritime and logistics strategy that the PMA, together with other main actors of the private and public sector, aims to develop. Mr. Barakat spoke of the planned initiatives to boost the positioning of the country as a crucial link in the regional supply chain. This aspect is a complement to our country’s privileged position and to the institutional strengthening, which will take place through the implementation of cutting-edge technologies that will strengthen our competitiveness.

Mr. Barakat said that it is important to encourage the exploitation of logistics nodes under the leadership of the port development. Regarding the context of the national ports, we can name the development of projects such as the one planned in the region of Puerto Armuelles.
Thanks to the signing of a technical cooperation agreement with the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF), this project will benefit of a consultancy for “the structuring of a feasible business model.”

According to the Administrator of the PMA, this project aims to revitalize the area and exploiting its logistic potential, thanks to its natural coves and its reachability. Furthermore, the project seeks to link this port with another one on the Atlantic side, to establish a center for perishable products that may favor the intra-regional transport of goods. This model is an alternative to the terrestrial movement of goods, which is slower, riskier and less eco-friendly.

In his presentation, Mr. Barakat also referred to the importance of the Panamanian Merchant Marine, which in addition to being the leader worldwide in ship registration, recently stood out with the registering of the two largest container ships in the world, the MSC OSCAR and the MSC OLIVER.

Jorge Barakat Pitty identified several key areas of development that this administration projects, including transparency in management, more flexible procedures that aim to improve the quality of the services. Thanks to the implementation of new technologies, such as the automated system for the documentation of the Seafarers through a digital platform, we will be able to achieve these goals. In addition, SEGUMAR will open new technical offices in Japan and Turkey. The PMA will also open new regional documentation offices in Greece and the United Arab Emirates. We work to create an efficient administration model that would attain a complementary development outside the inter-oceanic zone, which shall serve as a complement to the port cluster.

Mr. Jorge Luis Quijano, Administrator of the Panama Canal authority also addressed the participants during the plenary session. In his address, he spoke about the progress attained in the expansion of the Panama Canal. Mr. Mike Ekman, Prime Minister of Aruba, who also attended this session, highlighted our nation’s development in the port and logistics sector. He showed vivid interest in following and taking part in the changes and development of our country. Several other prominent personalities from the maritime and governmental world attended the conferences.

Other topics, that followed this first session, turned around the impact of the Canal expansion, the value added by the canal’s route from the viewpoint of the shipping companies, the port development that will take place once the expanded Canal begins its operations, the development of international logistics services and value added services of the freight.