Minister Ablonczy Visits Panama Canal Expansion Project

Photo: Corina Briceño, Minister Ablonczy and Sylvia Cesaratto, Canada’s Ambassador to Panama.

November 16, 2012 - Panama - The Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs), tours the Panama Canal Expansion Project and receives a briefing on the construction by deputy project manager Corina Briceño.

The canal expansion, one of the largest construction projects in the world, is valued at US$5.2 billion. The Government of Panama is aggressively building new infrastructure and has designated US$2.8 billion for transportation infrastructure projects.

Once ratified, the Canada-Panama free trade agreement will improve access to construction contracts in Panama. The agreement will eliminate nearly all tariffs in many sectors, including construction materials and equipment, and machinery. It will also expand market access opportunities for Canadian service providers in areas such as energy and financial services, and secure market access in the area of government procurement, including with the Panama Canal Authority.

Minister Ablonczy is leading 18 Canadian companies and organizations on a Canadian infrastructure-focused trade mission to Peru, Colombia and Panama on behalf of the Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway.

Bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and Panama reached $235.3 million in 2011, up 10.1 percent over 2010.

For more information, please visit Trade Mission to Latin America and consult House of Commons Approves Harper Government’s Trade Agreement with Panama.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Joshua Zanin
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs)
613-944-2300

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874
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