According to MANA, the MoU was signed in Antwerp by Panama’s Minister of Maritime Affairs and Administrator of the AMP Jorge Barakat, and the Port of Antwerp’s c hairman of the board Marc Van Peel and the port of Antwerp’s ceo Eddy Bruyninckx.
The signing followed the visit of Panama’s president Juan Carlos Varela in 2015, who was impressed by Antwerp’s success in attracting the largest European firms to set up logistics facilities in the port area.
The MoU will widen and deepen the co-operation between Antwerp and Panama, setting forth a framework of joint collaboration and actions and shall allow the development of specific activities and optimising their management of their ports. This will include training and exchange of information, as well as internships in port administration and port companies.
Antwerp handled record tonnage of 208m tonnes in 2015 with 9.7m teu of containers and the port registering a 7.5% growth in 2015. Panama is the largest transhipment hub in the Americas moving 6.7m teu last year.
PSA International, which is present at both Antwerp and Panama, is expanding its Antwerp facilities to increase capacity to 9m teu while the Singapore-based port operator is also investing its Panama terminals that will bring capacity to 2m teu by 2017.