Varela’s AMP team unveiled

The Panama Maritime Authority (AMP) has announced its leadership team after the swearing in of the country’s new President, Juan Carlos Varela.

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The new group of officials, including Administrator Jorge Barakat, includes veterans with experience at the AMP as well as some from the wider maritime sector

The agency, which sets the country’s maritime policy, also said the president and new Administrator Jorge Barakat are aiming to strengthen and modernise the Panamanian Ship Registry, which the AMP Administers.

“My principal objective is to strengthen our first maritime institution, give it the indispensable human resources to support the Panama Ship Registry international technical operations and the Register’s relations with its users and ship owners and maintain a constant dialogue with Panamanian maritime guilds,” said Barakat, who also holds the cabinet-level title of minister of maritime affairs.

The agency confirmed that former AMP Administrator Fernando Solorzano will replace Alfonso Castillero as Merchant Marine Director. TradeWinds reported last week that Castillero had stepped down.

The agency also announced that Tomas Avila, a prominent maritime lawyer specialising in ship registration, will serve as AMP secretary general.

As TradeWinds has already reported, Alejandro Agustin Moreno, a partner at Panama City firm Moreno & Arjona, will serve as deputy AMP administrator.

Barakat was a deputy administrator between 2009 and 2011 before taking the top job at AMP. He is currently a professor at Panama’s International Maritime University.

“The new executive team at the AMP is very experienced in national and international maritime issues and are already discussing many issues which will further enhance the registration procedures, which they expect to positively influence the world's first ship registry,” said the AMP.