Ti­me­sof Chan­ge

For the Pa­na­ma Ca­nal

Excelencias Turísticas del caribe y las Américas (Centroamerica) - - Projects - By: Leo San­tos Pho­tos: TETEOLIVELLA.COM

Ro­dol­fo Sa­bon­ger, de­puty pre­si­dent of the Mar­ket Re­search and Analy­sis Of­fi­ce of the Ca­nal Ma­na­ge­ment, talks about the en­han­ce­ment project now un­der­way for this ma­jor man­ma­de wa­ter­cour­se.

What are the main cha­llen­ges the Mar­ket Re­search and Analy­sis Of­fi­ce of the Ca­nal Ma­na­ge­ment has put up with for the en­han­ce­ment of the Ca­nal?

Li­ke any ot­her project, the most im­por­tant thing from the word go is to jus­tify the need of the project and its fi­nan­cial lia­bi­lity. Our ro­le has been to pro­vi­de that kind of analy­sis. This ef­fort has led us to the con­clu­sion that it was ne­ces­sary to carry out this project and that the en­han­ce­ment works can be ban­kro­lled th­rough the Ca­nal’s pri­cing po­licy and the ser­vi­ces it will ha­ve to of­fer.

This is about adap­ting the pro­duct to the needs of the mar­ket. That’s al­ways been our top cha­llen­ge be­cau­se the Ca­nal has en­du­red a string of nons­top chan­ges sin­ce al­most its grand ope­ning.

How are the en­han­ce­ment works fa­ring and what cons­truc­tion sta­ge are you in right now?

We’ve left the first plan­ning sta­ge behind and we’re right now exe­cu­ting one of the main ele­ments of the en­ti­re project which is the dry dig­ging. We’ve al­so han­ded in the first dred­ging con­tract on the Pa­ci­fic en­tran­ce and the first con­tract for the pur­cha­se of a new dred­ger for the na­vi­ga­tion chan­nels. We ex­pect tho­se pro­po­sals to be ready by Oc­to­ber for furt­her as­sess­ment, so that we’ll be ready to get crac­king by the first quar­ter of 2009.

How does the Pa­na­ma­nian go­vern­ment sup­port the tasks and the ef­forts your di­vi­sion is carrying out?

We work and co­lla­bo­ra­te very clo­sely with the Mi­nistry of Economy and Fi­nan­ce, as well as with the Re­pu­blic’s Ge­ne­ral Ac­coun­ting Of­fi­ce be­cau­se we are the ones that co­me up with the in­for­ma­tion and the top in­di­ca­tors for the Ca­nal from an eco­no­mic stand­point, and that much da­ta is in­grai­ned in the country’s ove­rall eco­no­mic in­di­ca­tors.

The Pa­na­ma Ca­nal has wit­nes­sed ma­jor de­ve­lop­ments of the country’s so­cial, eco­no­mic and po­li­ti­cal li­fe. And it has al­so heard the sto­ries of so­me un­sung he­roes li­ke Ro­dol­fo Sa­bon­ger, de­puty pre­si­dent of the Mar­ket Re­search and Analy­sis Of­fi­ce of the Ca­nal Ma­na­ge­ment

What’s the main wor­king stra­tegy that the Mar­ket Re­search and Analy­sis Of­fi­ce of the Ca­nal Ma­na­ge­ment will ha­ve in 2008?

We’re al­ready ma­king plans for 2009. The on­going year is his­tory now and is un­der exe­cu­tion. We al­so ha­ve to get the job do­ne in terms of the pri­cing and toll po­licy. A couple of years ago we up­da­ted and put the cu­rrent toll po­licy up to par with in­ter­na­tio­nal stan­dards un­til 2009.

We must bear in mind that the Ca­nal is just a small link in the supply chain in which the costs of all the par­ti­ci­pa­ting ele­ments are ar­ti­cu­la­ted with one anot­her, from the fuels and the sto­ra­ge to the costs of ma­ri­ti­me, ground and air trans­por­ta­tion. Then, as part of that chain, our res­pon­si­bi­lity is to ma­ke su­re that the Ca­nal could ope­ra­te in a pro­fi­ta­ble way.

Our res­pon­si­bi­lity is to ma­ke su­re that the Ca­nal can be ope­ra­ted in a pro­fi­ta­ble way. The main cha­llen­ge he­re is try to ma­ke the most of the ad­van­ta­ges the Ca­nal has to of­fer in an ef­fort to ma­ke Pa­na­ma’s the most im­por­tant lo­gis­tics plat­form of the Ame­ri­cas.

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