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Friday, December 07, 2012    

Long Beach port, Panama Canal Authority renew 'mutually beneficial' pact

Port of Long Beach, Calif., and Panama Canal Authority officials earlier this week renewed a 2010 agreement that aims to promote more trade between Latin America and the United States, and facilitate an exchange of ideas for seaport engineering, dredging and environmental practices.

With the renewal, the parties agreed to continue sharing marketing ideas to boost trade between southern California, South America and the Caribbean via the Panama Canal.

The agreement also covers the exchange of technical expertise in several areas, including engineering, training and environmental programs. The Long Beach port has similar pacts in place with several ports in China, Europe and Mexico.

"We see this pact as a long-term, mutually beneficial agreement," said Port of Long Beach Executive Director J. Christopher Lytle in a prepared statement.

Although trade with Latin America accounts for a small percentage of the port's annual trade volume, port officials hope to expand service to emerging markets to boost future volume. The Panama Canal is undergoing an expansion project designed to accommodate larger ships that's slated for completion by 2015.

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