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American Shipper

COSCO head endorses Panama Canal expansion

COSCO head endorses Panama Canal expansion

   Capt. Wei Jiafu, president and chief executive officer of China Ocean Shipping Co., recently endorsed the potential Panama Canal expansion, citing that a more modern, competitive, 21st century canal will benefit the global economy and world trade, the Panama Canal Authority said Wednesday.

   In a speech given in Panama last month, Wei said that with the rapid development of China's economy, the canal becomes more important as a vital link for China to import and export goods to and from the U.S. East Coast, the Caribbean and the East Coast of South America.

   'I fully support this expansion plan,' Wei said. 'I believe that the expansion of the canal will enable more ships to utilize the Panama Canal. It will not only strengthen Panama financially by bringing considerable revenues, promote development of Panama's maritime industry, and ensure Panama's position as the regional maritime center, but it will also benefit the growth of regional and world trade.'

   Wei said the canal is possibly at its most critical point in its history and that to maintain its competitive edge, canal capacity must be improved.

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