MOU signing is executed by Paul Anderson, Port Tampa Bay president/CEO, and Rene F. Puche, President (CEO), Port of Barranquilla, Colombia, both seated. Standing: Wade Elliott, VP marketing, Port Tampa Bay; Catherine Desmoineaux, head of communications, Port of Barranquilla; Deborah Wilkinson, executive director, Tampa Bay Trade and Protocol Council; Richard Ghent, senior manager, public affairs, The Mosaic Company; Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn; Enrique Carvajales Marulanda, CCO, Port of Barranquilla.
TAMPA, Fla.—Port Tampa Bay’s trade ties with Latin America received a boost today, when the CEOs of Florida’s largest port and the Colombian Port of Barranquilla signed a sister port memorandum of understanding in Tampa.
The MOU signed by both ports strengthens the commercial relationship between the two ports by encouraging the sharing of trade and marketing initiatives, technical expertise and best practices.
Today’s signing builds upon the long-standing sister city relationship between the cities of Tampa and Barranquilla and follows-up on the December 2012 Team Florida trade mission to Colombia led by Governor Rick Scott as well as a Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation organized trade mission to Barranquilla led by Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn. During the Barranquilla mission, a delegation of more than 30 Tampa business and community leaders established new relationships and developed potential business opportunities, resulting in an estimated $7.3 million in anticipated sales for local companies. Port Tampa Bay participated in that mission—a perfect fit because Colombia is one of the port’s top trading partners and poised for further growth under the new free trade agreement between the United States and Colombia. Located at the mouth of the Magdalena River, Barranquilla is the largest multipurpose port along Colombia’s Caribbean coast, handling a wide mix of cargo, including containers, dry bulk, liquid bulk and break bulk commodities such as steel.
“We are very excited to be taking this step in our relationship with a strategic partner, the Port of Barranquilla,” Paul Anderson, Port Tampa Bay president and CEO, said. “We look forward to a long and mutually rewarding relationship as we move forward in our efforts to build a truly world-class port. This new agreement builds upon the long-standing sister city relationship between the cities of Tampa and Barranquilla.”
About Port Tampa Bay
Port Tampa Bay is Florida’s largest port and the largest economic engine in west central Florida, supporting nearly 80,000 jobs and generating almost $15 billion in annual economic impact. In addition to being a top 10 U.S. cruise port, the port handles a wide array of bulk, break bulk, containers and roll-on/roll-off cargoes, and is a major shipbuilding and repair center. The port was recently voted “Simply the Best” for world-class customer service in a Logistics Management Magazine reader poll. For more information, visit www.portTB.com.