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(Shanghai, April 25, 2006) — In Shanghai today, a Friendship Agreement between the Seaway Corporations’ Hwy H2O Port Partners Program and the Shanghai Port Management Bureau in the People’s Republic of China was finalized at a formal signing ceremony. The document was signed by Canadian St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) President and CEO Richard Corfe on behalf of the Hwy H2O program and Xu Peixing, Director General of the Port Management Bureau of Shanghai.

The agreement aims to establish a cooperative partnership between U.S. and Canadian ports in the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System and the Port of Shanghai.  The forms of cooperation will include discussions for expanding marine transportation and trade, communications on ways to improve port management and economic development, exchanges of information and materials to improve inland waterway navigation and vessel standardization, and discussions focusing on the construction of the inland waterway port and transportation system.  The agreement takes effect immediately.

“I am pleased to sign this MOU today with the Port of Shanghai on behalf of the Hwy H2O Port Partners Program,” said SLSMC President Richard Corfe.  “It will strengthen the mutual understanding and friendship between our ports as well as promote trade and maritime business and the development of our respective economies,” Mr. Corfe added.

The agreement was developed following initial meetings last spring with officials from the Shanghai Municipal Port Administration and Great Lakes Seaway System stakeholders.  In September, the Toronto Port Authority hosted a delegation from the City of Shanghai’s Port Administration to begin substantive discussions on the provisions of the agreement.  It is a bi-national, system-wide agreement, which includes all of the participating ports in the Seaway Corporations’ Hwy H2O Program.

“The Chinese are very interested in any opportunity to develop feeder systems within the Great Lakes from St. Lawrence River ports,” noted Corfe.  “Our System offers an alternative solution to the transportation challenges currently facing the Chinese.”

The signing of the Friendship Agreement is a highlight of a week-long bi-national trade mission undertaken by the Canadian and U.S. Seaway Corporation leaders and 20 senior marine industry officials from throughout 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.  The mission delegates are briefing senior Chinese maritime executives about the many business opportunities available for shipping cargoes throughout the St. Lawrence Seaway System.   Their itinerary includes one-on-one meetings with high level government officials and key industry contacts, two information seminars and tours of port facilities.

After the signing ceremony today, the delegation participated in a seminar and networking session with a group of Chinese carriers, shippers, port officials and terminal operators.  The Seaway will also host a VIP dinner with high level executives from the Shanghai Port Authority, China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO), and China Shipping Container Lines.  Tomorrow the trade mission delegation will tour the Yangshan Deep Water Port before departure for Hong Kong.