The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) and the Algeciras Bay Port Authority (APBA) have signed a memorandum of understanding with the aim of establishing a strategic alliance to help international trade and boost their logistical activities.

The memorandum of understanding was signed by the ACP administrator Alberto Alemán Zubieta and the director general of the APBA, José Luis Hormaechea Escós.

This agreement’s objectives include joint marketing activities, coordination of projects for modernization and improvements, and promoting training and technological exchanges. "This agreement enables us to exchange technical information with the Port of Algeciras as regards the international shipping market, which gives both organizations tools to increase our level of economic development," said Alemán Zubieta. "The two institutions are leading examples of worldwide logistic nodes. There’s no doubt the cooperation between the two institutions - backed up by this memorandum - will bring something extra to our relationship and will provide a stronger commercial relationship between our business communities," said José Luis Hormaechea

The ACP and the Algeciras Bay Port Authority will also have the chance to exchange market studies, technology, training and technological programmes.

The next day, in the Riu Panama Plaza Hotel, the Algeciras Port and its port community were successfully introduced to Panama’s maritime and business community. The event rounded off a week of intensive work in the Central American country, in which heads from the APBA were involved as well as from Comport, the Chamber of Commerce, Aesba, Acetm, and the companies Algetransit, Fitotrans, Hermosa Cannon, Aage Hempel International, Cepsa Marine Fuels, CLH and Sicberre. The Spanish Embassy in Panama also took part, as did the Trade Promotion Agency of Andalusia (Extenda).

There are now significant changes and opportunities in Panama following this widening of the Canal, into which the government is investing more than 5 billion dollars. The investment in the third set of locks, which are of an exceptional size and built by the Spanish company Sacyr, will enable large goods ships to pass through as of 2015. The extension is an opportunity for Spanish ports in general that according to the experts will benefit by recovering routes around the world due to the proximity of the Strait of Gibraltar. The latter is also an unavoidable stretch on the route known in the business as the round the world. In this sense, the Port of Algeciras in particular provides zero deviation on this route, thus saving days at sea and therefore savings in costs for shipping companies.