The signing of a Memorandum of Friendship and Trade Cooperation between the Port of Houston Authority (PHA) and the National Port Authority (NPA) Systems of Liberia highlighted a briefing of PHA operations and facilities hosted by U.S. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee for NPA Managing Director Matilda W. Parker Monday morning.
On Tuesday morning, the Liberian delegation was introduced to the Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority at the commission’s monthly meeting and Tuesday afternoon was given a tour of the Houston Ship Channel aboard Kirby Corporation’s vessel, The Observer.
PHA Executive Director Alec Dreyer and NPA Managing Director Matilda W. Parker (foreground) sign copies of a Memorandum of Friendship and Trade Cooperation between their two port authorities as PHA Commissioner Steve Phelps, U.S. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and PHA Chairman James T. Edmonds look on.
The latest memorandum, which further solidifies the relationship between the two “sister ports,” calls for PHA and NPA to “conduct programs and activities to bring about understanding and a closer relationship with each other, as well as promotion of increased trade between the two countries” and to “develop and expand mutual understanding and to promote greater economic benefits for both.”
The agreement further solidifies the relationship between the two “sister ports.”
Congresswoman Jackson Lee, who serves on the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on Homeland Security, arranged the reunion between the two ports.
The newly signed agreement reinforces a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two port authorities in April 1990.
“Although the amount of trade between our two ports, today, is relatively small, the potential for increased trade is virtually unlimited,” says PHA Chairman James T. Edmonds. “The two ports have a lot in common with multiple terminals offering facilities for a variety of cargos. Today’s agreement helps codify our 20-year-relationship as one calling for the continued nurturing and growth of commerce between our two countries.”
NPA’s system has four ports, headed by the Freeport of Monrovia, which was built by the U.S. military for strategic purposes during World War II and which handles 90 percent of the country’s trade. Other member ports include: the Port of Buchanan, which exports, primarily, iron ore deposits; the Port of Greenville, which functions as a primary outlet for the timber industry; and the Port of Harper, which serves the timber industry of the southeastern hinterland.
The Port of Houston Authority owns the public terminals among the more than 150 terminals that comprise the 25-mile-long Port of Houston. The Port of Houston is the nation’s largest port in terms of foreign waterborne tonnage, the nation’s No. 1 port in project cargo and the leading containerized port on the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Representing PHA at Monday’s event, along with Edmonds, were: Commissioner Steve Phelps, newly named Executive Director Alec Dreyer, Acting Trade Development Director Ricky Kunz; Public Affairs Director Argentina M. James; Security and Emergency Operations Manager Bill Crews, Marketing Manager Brian Reeves; Customer Service Manager Robert Morgan; Government Affairs Manager Spencer Chambers and Assistant Government Affairs Manager Monica Glover.