This event is part of an international movement that has its sight set on Panama. The Canal expansion has forced port operators to expand their facilities to fit post-Panamax vessels. Regional and U.S. ports, such as Miami, New York and Norfolk, Virginia, are also investing in infrastructure and equipment in order to have the capacity needed to receive the large ships that will soon be able to pass through the new locks of the Panama Canal.
Tomás Ávila, president of the conference's organizing committee, announced that the event will feature world-class exhibitions and lecturers. Koji Sekimizu, secretary general of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), an agency of the United Nations, will analyze how this institution is contributing towards sustainable development.
Jorge Quijano, administrator of the Panama Canal Authority, Peter Hinchcliffe, secretary general of the International Maritime Chamber, and Murat Kiran, president of the Builders Association of Turkish Vessels, will also be speakers at the event. To this list can be added David Chin, director of the Singapore Maritime Foundation, and Richard Downie, director of the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies. Among the topics on the agenda are the impact of the Maritime Labour Convention, new methods of shipbuilding and the creation of maritime business centers.
This year, in addition to the conferences, companies operating in the country will be invited to offer their services and products at the expo to encourage trade.