Panama and China to sign 15 trade agreements

President Juan Carlos Varela has announced that Panama will sign at least 15 trade agreements with China.

The announcement was made at the first official meeting on trade between Panama and China held Thursday in Beijing. Among the agreements to be signed are tourism, agricultural and aviation agreements. 

Panama and China established diplomatic ties on June 13, following the country breaking ties with Taiwan. Since June Panama and China have opened embassies in the respective countries.

The ambassador of Panama in China, Francisco Carlo Escobar, explained to TeleMetro that now, both countries will carry out a feasibility study on the possibility of reaching a free trade agreement.

Additionally, the President of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, will try to attract Chinese investors to the Colon Free Zone (ZLC) and work to establish new flights connecting the two countries.

"We may be a small country, but we have a great geographic position, we are the operations center of the Americas," said Escobar.

The ambassador also pointed out that Panama is trying to "learn China’s railway technology", which could help in its plans to connect its border with Costa Rica.

"It was something we had to do many years ago, it’s the right thing to do," Escobar said of the new diplomatic relations with China, adding that "when you see ’one China’, led by (president) Xi Jinping and that is a country of 1.4 billion people, that is basically the market. "

Panamanian authorities, including the president, will be in Beijing from Thursday to meet with Chinese authorities in an effort to move forward with the bilateral agenda. Panama will also meet with representatives of companies with investments in Panama or who seek a presence in Panama, preside over two business forums.

The highlight of Panama’s visit will be the meeting between Varela and Xi, that will take place Friday, November 17th at the Great Hall of the People, headquarters of the great events of the Chinese regime.

Juan Carlos Varela will travel to Shanghai on the bullet train on Monday, November 20th to inaugurate the first Panamanian consulate in that city and present Panama’s tourism trade offer at a fair taking place in Shanghai.