On June 21 the Virginia Port Authority (VPA) and the Suez Canal Authority signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) establishing an alliance of cooperation between the two agencies.

‘This kind of cooperation will help facilitate the trade between the Asia and the Indian subcontinent and The Port of Virginia,’ said J.J. Keever, the VPA’s deputy executive director. ‘We see the Suez Canal Authority as an important partner in the development of our trade with that area of the world. We’re glad to be able to call the Suez Canal Authority a partner.’

The focus of the MOU is to help promote trade between Asia the United States through the Suez Canal, generate business opportunities, enhance customer service and drive economic growth. Specifically, the MOU will encourage increased use of the ‘all water route’ that links The Port of Virginia with Asia via the Suez Canal. This connection, Keever said, is a reliable, safe and economical route to bring goods made in Asia to the United States.

‘In March, representatives from Virginia visited our offices to discuss this and I am glad to be today to sign this agreement,’ said El-Sayed Zakaria El-Saaty, director of transit Department, Suez Canal Authority. ‘We look forward to working with Virginia on its plans for promoting trade through our canal.’

In March, Keever and Tom Capozzi, the VPA’s senior managing director of marketing, traveled to Egypt, met with Suez Canal Authority officials to discuss the development and details of the MOU.