Tampa trade mission generating business
A Port of Tampa trade mission to Panama in May has already generated at least $29 million in business for local companies, according to a report to the port authority commissioners.
Port Director Richard Wainio said in his director's report to the commissioners that an initial review of participants in the May 20-24 trade mission to Panama has generated $29 million in actual and potential sales. The trade mission was organized by the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, and the port led the mission and served as the primary sponsor. There were 24 delegates representing 17 companies on the mission.
Wainio noted, 'Panama is very important to Tampa for many reasons, including the fact that a direct Panama-to-Tampa container shipping connection exists as part of the (Zim) Asia-Gulf Express Service.'
Wainio himself has extensive connections in Panama. He spent 23 years in executive positions with the Panama Canal when it was under U.S. control, and later held executive positions with Manzanillo International Terminal and Eberhard Maritime Transport Co. He is also a former president and executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Panama.