Panama makes IMO budget payment

Panama has made an initial financial contribution to the IMO operating budget for 2005 and has pledged to settle the remainder of the amount by July of this year.

During his recent visit to Panama to participate in the opening of the Panama Maritime VII event, IMO Secretary-General Efthimios E. Mitropoulos received a payment from the Government of Panama for the amount of US$2,780.871 (GB£1,473,700), representing the first tranche of Panama's IMO budget contribution. IMO is financed by its Member States in proportion to the size of the fleet in each country's shipping registry. As the world's largest registry, Panama makes the highest single contribution to the IMO budget, representing around 16 per cent of the overall figure.

from left, Mr. Ricaurte Vasquez, Minister of Economy, EEM, Secretary-General Mitropoulos, HE Martin Torrijos Espino, President of the Rep. of Panama, HE Ruben Arosemena Valdes, 2nd Vice President and Administrator of the Panama Maritime Authority, Miss Liliana Fernandez,  Panamanian Ambassador to the UK and Permanent Representative to the IMO and Mr. Alberto Aleman Zubieta, Administrator of the Panama Canal Authority.During his two-day visit to Panama, the Secretary-General undertook a busy programme of work. He had meetings with the President of the Republic of Panama, HE Martin Torrijos as well as a number of Ministers, and with Vice President and Administrator of the Panama Maritime Administration, HE Ruben Arosemena who explained in detail to the Secretary-General his plans to modernize the Panamanian registry and exercise effective control of the ships in the Panamanian fleet. The Secretary-General also visited the Panama Canal and discussed the proposed expansion plans with the Canal Administrator, Mr Alberto Aleman.

In his keynote speech to the conference, Mr Mitropoulos spoke both of the many opportunities and of the consequent responsibilities that fell to Panama as major player in the world of international shipping. He praised the country's efforts thus far to promote quality throughout its growing maritime cluster and called upon Panama to make a positive contribution towards the development of IMO's voluntary audit scheme for flag States.

24 February 2005

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