INDORE : External Affairs Minister Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar signed an MoU to enhance cooperation in the training of diplomats during his bilateral meeting with Panamanian Foreign Minister Ms. Janaina Tevane Mencomo here.
India and Panama have enjoyed a friendly and mutually beneficial connection since the middle of the 19th century. Notably, Indians contributed to the construction of the Panama Canal, an essential piece of infrastructure that transformed international trade. In 1973, India established a resident mission in Panama, while in 1983, Panama established an embassy in New Delhi. Both nations foster mutual understanding and collaboration by upholding ideals like as democracy, multiculturalism, and secularism.
A number of Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) have been signed by India and Panama in recent years with the aim of strengthening their bilateral relationship in various fields. These accords demonstrate the two nations’ increasing commitment to common objectives and level of cooperation. Recently, the Panamanian Election Tribunal (ET) and the Indian Election Commission. They established the institutional basis for their ongoing cooperation in the area of election management and administration by signing a Memorandum of Understanding in Panama City on July 7, 2023.
India – Panama Bilateral Trade:
India and Panama have seen a steady increase in trade in recent years. In FY 2022-23, bilateral trade reached US$ 597.87 million, with India exporting US$314.56 million worth of goods to Panama (Non-Colon Zone) and importing US$283.31 million worth of goods from Panama (Non-Colon Zone). India’s major exports to Panama consist of machinery, automobiles, textiles, and pharmaceuticals. The majority of products that Panama exports to India are copper ore, scrap iron, and wood.
Unfortunately, as of now, India and Panama do not have a preferential trade agreement (PTA), a free trade agreement (FTA), or a comprehensive trade agreement. If India and Panama have a trade agreement, the total trade will increase by three times due to Panama’s strategic location and its advantageous position as a gateway to the USA, Latin America, and Caribbean countries.
An overview of the news
- The agreement was signed during the visit of the Foreign Minister of Panama to participate in the 17th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Conference.
- The visit of the Panamanian Foreign Minister to India comes more than a month after the two sides held the 2nd Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) in Panama City on November 23, 2022.
- During the consultations, both sides comprehensively reviewed their bilateral relations covering issues such as trade and investment, pharmaceuticals, capacity building, space cooperation and consular.
- Both countries also discussed cooperation in multilateral fora.
- Both countries agreed to hold the next round of consultations at a mutually convenient date in New Delhi.