Officials from Port Tampa Bay and the Colombian Port of Barranquilla are scheduled to convene this morning to ink a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) between their respective ports.
The agreement between the two sister-ports will allow for a bigger share of imports and exports to flow between the US and central/southern American nations.
The privately-run Port of Barranquilla is the largest Colombian port located along the Caribbean Sea. By forming a partnership, Port Tampa hopes to gain further access to the Southern American markets, such as using the Magdalena River to deliver cargo to the Colombian hinterland.
It is believed that discussions first began after Tampa Governor Rick Scott led a trade mission to Colombia in 2012, where Mayor Bob Buckhorn and a delegation of about 30 Tampa Bay business leaders headed out to Barranquilla to meet with their counterparts.
Port Tampa Bay CEO Paul Anderson, and President of the Port of Barranquilla, Rene Puche are expected to continue discussions today and finalise the agreement.
Port Tampa Bay is Florida’s largest cargo port and handles nearly 854,000 cruise ship passengers a year.