Panama and China Sign Maritime Agreement
Panama and China have signed an agreement on maritime transport in presence of China’s president Xi Jinping and Panama’s president Juan Carlos Varela, during Varela's first visit to China after establishing diplomatic relations.
The agreement aims to boost commercial ship traffic, both cargo and passenger ships, between the two countries.
Panama's Minister of Maritime Affairs and administrator of the Panama Maritime Authority, Jorge Barakat, said that the agreement will help promote maritime and port development in Panama and China, strengthen the Panama Ship Registry and support the Chinese Maritime Authority on maritime safety issues for Panama-flagged vessels that sail in its waters.
Panama has been granted ‘Most Favored Nation’ status so that Panama-flagged vessels will enjoy the lower port costs available to other nations with the same status. Panama will also be able to register shipping companies and Chinese vessels directly in the main maritime cities of China, including registration of naval mortgages and property titles. With full diplomatic relations, Panama will be able to establish technical offices in China for the control of maritime safety and navigation of its vessels.
“We will increase the participation of Chinese seamen aboard Panamanian ships and recognize several maritime training centers from China as part of our international expansions strategy,” said Barakat.