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The new relationship with China poses "extraordinary" challenges for Panama

The new relationship with China, which already translates into 19 agreements in several areas including commercial, poses "extraordinary" challenges to Panama as in the production and training of human resource, affirmed today one of the main private guilds of the Central American country.

Panama, Nov 26 (EFE) .- The new relationship with China, which translates into 19 agreements in several areas including commercial, poses "extraordinary" challenges to Panama as in the production and the training of human resources, affirmed today one of the main private associations of the Central American country.

In a public declaration, the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Panama (Cciap) warned that the country "must introduce important adjustments to achieve the agreed benefits" with China, from which large investments are expected after the establishment of diplomatic relations on June 13.

The CACIP leadership mentioned, for example, the marginalization in which the sectors have been for decades. agricultural and industrial sectors, a situation that will continue to prevent taking advantage of the opportunities that would open a free trade agreement, whose feasibility will be studied in the framework of one of the the agreements signed by the two governments last week in Beijing.

The Panamanian President, Juan Carlos Varela, made a historical visit to China between November 16 and 22, where he inaugurated diplomatic legations, signed the agreements and reiterated Panama's willingness to be a platform for Chinese expansion in the region.

In addition to the aspects referring to the volume of production, the Chamber referred this Sunday to "the demands that China imposes on its imports" as another of the challenges for Panama.

"There is also a need to Consider, in order to obtain the status of Approved Tourist Destination, what we have to do to take tourists in large quantities beyond the capital, with a range of services of high international standards, "added the Chamber of Commerce.

It is in the tourism, commercial and investment sectors where the broadest expectations have been generated in the country since the establishment of diplomatic relations with China, which has been present in the Central American country for many years.

The Asian country is the main country Provider of the Colon Free Zone (ZLC), the largest in the hemisphere, and the second user of the Panama Canal, where 6% of world trade passes.

Asymmetry in the balance commercial is huge according to official figures, which indicate that in 2016 Panama imported goods and services from the Asian giant for 1,183 million dollars, while it sold just 50.9 million dollars.

Cciap said that the partnership with China should enhance the competitive advantages of Panama, which will be achieved only with "a vision of State committed in the long term -not five-year- to the development of the country, "for which" it is necessary to include the preparation of human resources through modern models that exceed fees obsolete. "

" In any case, our biggest challenge to reach the first world is the ability to compete with efficiency and quality, especially when in the region other players seek opportunities like these.

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