BEIJING – The Panamanian economy will gain from a recent establishment of diplomatic relations with China that will allow for deeper trade and financial ties, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday.
The establishment of diplomatic ties on June 13 also opened a new chapter in economic and trade relations, said ministry spokesperson Sun Jiwen during a press conference.
He said diplomatic relations would help the two governments to agree upon better, more favorable trade and investment policies.
He pointed out that Panama was China’s largest Central American trading partner, with their mutual trade exchange totaling $6.38 billion in 2016.
Sun said that some 30 Chinese firms had established themselves in Panama in sectors such as maritime transport, telecommunications and infrastructure, and that Chinese construction companies have secured contracts worth $1.33 billion there.
With 1,000 Chinese ships passing through the Panama Canal each year, the country is currently the second most important user of the interoceanic route.