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Cornwall, Ontario (November 10, 2008) - In Genoa, Italy today, a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) between the Great Lakes Seaway Corporations’ Highway H20 Port Partners Program ( and the Ligurian Ports in Northern Italy was finalized at a formal signing ceremony.  The document was signed by the Canadian St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation President and CEO Richard Corfe and Secretary General Giambattista D’Aste, Port of Genoa.

The MOC aims to establish a cooperative partnership between U.S. and Canadian ports in the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System and the Ligurian Ports of Genoa, La Spezia and Savona.  As specified in the MOC, the forms of cooperation will include discussions for expanding marine transportation and trade; exchanging data and information; and joint communications on ways to improve port management and economic development.  The MOC takes effect immediately.

“I am pleased to sign this MOC today with the Ligurian Ports on behalf of the Highway H20 Port Partners Program,” said Richard Corfe, President and CEO, for The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC).  “It will strengthen the mutual understanding and friendship between our ports as well as promote trade and maritime business and the growth of our respective economies,” Corfe added.

The signing of the MOU is a highlight of a week-long trade mission to Italy and Turkey undertaken by the U.S. and Canadian Seaway Corporations and 17 senior marine industry officials from the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System.  The trade mission delegation is comprised of U.S. and Canadian port directors, terminal operators, logistics representatives, and marketing trade specialists. 

After the signing ceremony today the delegation will participate in two informational seminars as well as meetings and networking sessions with senior level maritime officials representing shippers, port officials, third party logistical providers and terminal operators.  The delegation moves to Turkey November 12 for two full days of talks prior to returning November 15, 2008. 

“The Seaway Trade Mission to Genoa and Istanbul provides an excellent opportunity to convey the message that our waterway is a safe, efficient and competitive shipping route to the heartland of North America,” said Collister Johnson, Jr., Administrator of the U.S. Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC). 

The SLSDC and SLSMC have conducted international trade missions since 1985, including two previous missions to Italy (1995, 1986) and one to Turkey (2000).  Actively marketing the binational waterway is vital for improving the economic health of this gateway to North America’s heartland.