Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 27th 2014 Contents A24
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, June 27, 2014
The deceleration in Latin America and the
Caribbean s foreign trade continued affecting port
activity by the end of 2013, a year in which growth
was just 1.7 per cent, according to data released
Wednesday by the Economic Commission for Latin
America and the Caribbean (Eclac).
In the latest edition of its port movement ranking,
Eclac indicates that this figure confirms the decline
in activity in the ports of several countries in the
region. In 2010 and 2011 the annual expansion reached
14 per cent, and in 2012 it notched 5.9 per cent.
The container movement ranking shows the details
of this kind of cargo activity in 80 of the region s
terminals, where operations in 2013 reached 46.6
million TEUs (the standard unit of measurement,
equivalent to containers of twenty feet, or 6.25 metres).
The study relies upon information compiled by Eclac
directly from local and national port authorities.
The first 30 ports in the ranking, with activity
levels ranging from 500,000 to 3,000,000 TEUs,
account for about 82 per cent of container operations
in the region.
The slowdown in activity compared with
previous years was determined mainly by
the ports located in five countries of the
Caribbean basin: Colombia, with a 6.9 per
cent annual drop, Jamaica (-8.2 per cent),
Venezuela (-8.2 per cent), Panama (-4.1 per
cent) and the Dominican Republic (-21.7
In contrast, the terminals of five South
American countries and one Central Amer-
ican nation maintained their growth levels,
despite the global context of deceleration.
This was the case in Argentina, with a 9.8
per cent increase versus 2012, Brazil (6.2
per cent), Uruguay (9.7 per cent), Chile (six
per cent), Ecuador (3.9 per cent) and Costa
Rica (37.5 per cent).
According to Eclac s analysis, port per-
formance in 2013 was very heterogeneous
and there were important differences among
terminals within countries. For example,
the Chilean ports of Angamos, Arica, Coronel
and San Antonio registered positive growth
due to the success of their projects and
The ports of Freeport (Bahamas) and
Havana (Cuba) are the only container ter-
minals in the Caribbean region that showed
increases, while in Brazil the ports with the
biggest expansions were Itapoá (72.1 per
cent) and Chibatão (32.6 per cent).
The regional port that grew the most in
2013 was Caldera, in Costa Rica, with a rise
in cargo movement that topped 246 per
cent. It was followed by Coronel in Chile
(135 per cent), and Itapoá in Brazil.
The sharpest declines were registered by
the terminals of Puerto Plata and Santo
Domingo in the Dominican Republic (drop-
ping 83.2 per cent and 58.5 per cent, respec-
tively), and São Francisco do Sul in Brazil
(-37.2 per cent).
Eclac: Slowdown in trade affects region's ports
CARACAS---The Permanent Secretary of the Latin
American and Caribbean Economic System (Sela),
Ambassador Roberto Guarnieri, has announced the
launching of an Internet portal specialised in free
trade zones. The portal can be accessed through
the Web site of the organisation (www.sela.org)
and is aimed at promoting knowledge and exchange
of information among experts about those produc-
tion and international trade areas.
In view of the renewed importance gained by free
trade zones as mechanisms to not only promote
exports, but also productive diversification, foreign
investment and technology transfers, Sela held the
Conference of Government Authorities on Free Trade
Zones in Latin America and the Caribbean, in Cali,
Colombia, in September 2012.
Participants agreed that free zones have become
an important instrument for the productive and
industrial development of Latin American and
Caribbean countries, especially because of their
capacity to transform economically and socially
depressed territories into real centres of development,
for their impact on competitiveness, their logistics,
and their capacity to create productive linkages and
to foster the development of production of goods
and services with increasingly intense technological
free trade portal
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