PANAMA CITY, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- Rise in protectionism is impacting global trade flows, the new administrator of the Panama Canal, former economy and finance minister Ricaurte Vasquez said on Thursday.
Speaking at a ceremony marking the start of his seven-year tenure at the head of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP), Vasquez said protectionist tendencies presented new challenges for the waterway.
"We are facing a different world ... Instead of globalization, today there is a resurgence in protectionism and trade flows are moving through different routes," said Vasquez.
"Wars over markets are the norm and this new global reality in which the canal is immersed demands a redefinition of the business, that's why we need to adapt," he said.
Vasquez served as deputy administrator under Jorge Quijano, whose term has come to an end.
Some 6 percent of global trade passes through the Panama Canal, which generates some 9,000 jobs.