Viewing cable 07PANAMA1007
Title: ACE NOMINATION - MANZANILLO INTERNATIONAL TERMINAL

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
07PANAMA10072007-06-14 20:22:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Panama
VZCZCXYZ0007
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHZP #1007/01 1652022
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 142022Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY PANAMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0616
INFO RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
UNCLAS PANAMA 001007 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
FOR STATE WHA/CEN TELLO 
FOR STATE EEB/EPPD NSMITH-NISSLEY 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ECON AID BEXP ECON ELAB ETRD PM SENV
SUBJECT: ACE NOMINATION - MANZANILLO INTERNATIONAL TERMINAL 
PANAMA 
 
REF: STATE 47222 
 
¶1. (U) SUMMARY: I am pleased to nominate Manzanillo 
International Terminal Panama-S.A. (MIT) as Embassy Panama's 
multinational enterprise candidate for the Secretary of 
State's 2007 Award for Corporate Excellence (ACE).  MIT is a 
joint venture between Carrix, Inc., headquartered in Seattle, 
Washington, and Panamanian investors.  MIT is operated by SSA 
Marine, a Carrix wholly-owned subsidiary. MIT's nomination is 
based on its contribution to the overall growth and 
development of the local economy, responsible environmental 
stewardship and practices, and provision of a safe and 
healthy workplace.  MIT has spent $1.5 million to construct a 
new hospital in Colon City which has treated 37% more 
patients during the first quarter of 2007 versus the same 
period in 2006.  MIT has spent $13,372 to build three new 
classrooms at Colon City's Rio Gatun School which has allowed 
enrollment to increase by 39%.  In addition, MIT maintains an 
excellent record in each of the remaining ACE criteria 
categories. END SUMMARY. 
 
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Background 
---------- 
 
¶2. (U) MIT, through U.S.-based operator and 50% owner Carrix 
and its wholly-owned subsidiary SSA Marine, has been 
operating in Colon City since 1993.  Carrix is the largest 
privately held marine and terminal operator in the United 
States.  MIT employs over 800 people in Colon City.  Colon 
City suffers from high unemployment, lack of adequate medical 
facilities, educational opportunities and value-added 
employment opportunities.  When MIT began operations, Colon 
City had an unemployment rate of 50%.  Some 10,000 people 
applied for MIT's 600 available jobs.  Most applicants were 
unskilled.  MIT was committed to hiring local residents and 
providing them with the requisite training.  MIT has a 
history of merit-based promotions whereby many people who 
began their careers as secretaries, janitors, and general 
stevedores are now vice presidents, vessel operations 
managers, and gate managers.  MIT's merit-based promotion 
system offers an opportunity for Panamanians of modest means 
to ascend the corporate ladder. 
 
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Contribution to the Overall Growth and Development of the 
Local Economy 
--------------------------------------------- --------------- 
 
¶3.  (U) During 2005-2006, MIT invested $2 million in health, 
education, landmark restoration and sports programs in Colon 
(approximately $10 per provincial resident).  In MIT's 12 
years of operation, it has invested a total of $4 million in 
such programs. 
 
¶4. (U) MIT's principal project was the construction of a new 
$1.5 million hospital in Colon City. MIT led efforts to 
collect donations of medical equipment from local businesses 
and government agencies.  Previously, patients had to travel 
to numerous facilities to receive adequate medical care. This 
new hospital, which provides centralized medical services, 
treated 37% more patients during the first quarter of 2007 
versus the same period in 2006.  In particular, people 
receiving pediatric care increased by almost 117% and 
nutritional care by over 72%. 
 
¶5. (U) MIT also provides financial support to nine 
educational centers in Colon City.  In 2005, MIT spent 
$13,752 to build three new classrooms at Rio Gatun School. 
As a result, the school was able to increase enrollment by 
39% in 2007 and provide education to a greater number of 
primary school children. 
 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
Responsible Environmental Stewardship and Practices 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
 
¶6. (U) MIT engages in voluntary efforts to protect the 
environment and lessen the environmental impacts of its 
operations.  In 2005, MIT began a $2.3 million project to 
switch eight diesel-powered gantry cranes to electrical 
power.  The result was the elimination of over 3,000 tons of 
CO2 emissions and a net 23% reduction in noise pollution per 
crane. 
 
----------------------------------------- 
Provision of a Safe and Healthy Workplace 
----------------------------------------- 
 
¶7. (U) MIT has voluntarily implemented numerous safety and 
healthy workplace programs.  MIT's Safety Department is 
certified ISO 9001:2000.  MIT provided over 60 safety 
training session in 2006, covering 1,197 employees and 
contractors.  MIT provided training in general safety, 
general safety for contractors, safety measures for heavy 
equipment, defensive driving, accident investigation, 
evacuation and emergency planning, and basic chemistry for 
hazardous material response personnel. MIT also provides 
daily safety inspections, pre-employment and random drug and 
alcohol testing. As a result of MIT's efforts, between 2005 
and 2006, injuries declined by 39%, days lost per injury 
declined by 74% and accidents declined by 35%. 
 
¶8. (U) MIT offers an employee credit union and medical clinic 
for more than 1,000 employees and staff. These are 
particularly important services since many residents have 
little access to medical care and no access to banking 
services. 
EATON