Last Tuesday, October 9 2018, the third round of negotiations between Panama and China was held for the signing of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between both countries, which is currently in a feasibility study.
“We reached the third round, after two intense rounds, in which the negotiating teams have managed to agree on important aspects both in form and substance. – Augusto Arosemena, Minister of Commerce and Industry.
Panama and China, established a bilateral relationship 16 months ago, after Panama decided to break ties with Taiwan in June 2017, and to recognize the principle of “one China”, thus being the second Central American country to establish diplomatic relations with the Asian giant, which has opened new opportunities for the bilateral relationship, which are reflected in the investments of Chinese companies in various national sectors. In addition to this, both countries have made progress in the tourism sector, since several months ago China authorized 64 Panamanian tour operators, whom since August 15 began offering the group travel service of Chinese tourists to Panama. It is important to highlight the amount of benefits that this FTA can offer Panama, since both countries have maintained an important commercial exchange before having established diplomatic relations.
Taking into account factors such as:
- China is the first supplier of the Colon Free Zone.
- It is the second most important user of the Panama Canal.
- It is the third destination of Panamanian exports with more than 42 million dollars in 2017.
In addition to this, Nicole Wong, the Panamanian Deputy Foreign Minister in charge, affirms that the diplomatic relations between China and Panama are built with a vision of State, transparency and honesty.