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Long Beach Delegation Attends Latin American Congress of Ports

June 26, 2011

To promote the Port of Long Beach as a conduit of trade between Latin America and the U.S., Port of Long Beach officials recently attended the 20th Annual Latin American Congress of Ports in Lima, Peru.

The Long Beach delegation included City Councilman Robert Garcia, former Long Beach Harbor Commissioner and current Federal Maritime Commissioner Mario Cordero, Long Beach Harbor Commissioner Thomas Fields and Port of Long Beach Managing Director of Trade Relations and Port Operations Sean Strawbridge.

The delegation met with government officials from Chile, Peru, Panama, Ecuador, and Guatemala as well as business representatives from those countries.

“Latin America is an emerging trade partner for the City of Long Beach and the greater region, and we feel the Port of Long Beach can help that potential be realized,” said Fields. “Latin America has experienced impressive economic growth, and it’s important to build relationships not only in Asia, but also in Latin America.”

The Long Beach delegation toured the Port of Callao, Peru’s largest seaport.

According to the International Monetary Fund, Latin America’s economic growth remains “robust” after last year’s 6 percent growth, with another 4.5 percent growth expected this year. Peru for example is expected to grow by 6.6 percent this year and 5.9 percent in 2012.

While trade with Latin America accounts for a small percentage of the Port's annual trade volume, officials hope to tap into emerging markets to boost future trade. The trip to the Latin American Congress of Ports was the Port of Long Beach’s latest effort to build and maintain ties with that region.

Last December, the Port of Long Beach and the Panama Canal Authority agreed to a series of efforts to promote more trade between Latin America and the U.S. The organizations signed a Memorandum of Understanding, agreeing to exchange ideas and knowledge on marketing, engineering, dredging technology and environmental practices.

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