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To create brighter future of Panama-China relations

By  Li Xiaoxiao (People's Daily)    10:54, November 30, 2018

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s upcoming state visit to Panama will consolidate friendship and serve as a new opportunity to push ahead with comprehensive and in-depth development of bilateral ties, Oyden Ortega Duran, former president of the Panamanian Association of Friendship with China, told People’s Daily in an interview.

The visit will be the first one paid by a Chinese head of state since the two countries established diplomatic relations.

Though the two countries are far apart, their peoples are closely connected, Ortega remarked, adding that the Panamanian society highly expects the visit to be paid by the Chinese President.

In history, Chinese-Panamanians have made active contributions to the development and construction of Panama, as well as to the friendly people-to-people exchanges between the two countries, said Ortega, who is also a judge of the Panama Supreme Court of Justice.

Now, Chinese-Panamanians account for nearly 8 percent of the Panamanian population. With rising social status and influence, they have become an important force for Panama’s development and a vital bridge of China-Panama friendship, Ortega introduced.

China is the second largest user of the Panama Canal, and the largest supplier of commodities for Panama’s Colon Free Trade Zone. In less than two years since the two countries established of diplomatic ties, they have made marked achievements in cooperation in economy and trade, tourism, culture and infrastructure.

A rising number of Chinese enterprises are eyeing successful investment in Panama, which has forcefully boosted local economy and improved people’s livelihood.

Panama has taken an active part in the construction of the Belt and Road after establishing diplomatic relations with China, said Ortega.

The Belt and Road Initiative is conducive to mutually beneficial cooperation and common prosperity, and provides new ideas and wisdom for common development of the world, he added.

“Panama hopes to board China’s fast train of development, in order to become China’s gateway to the other regions in Latin America, and play a vital role in extending the Belt and Road to Latin America and aligning development strategies,” he said.

China, by constantly proposing opening-up measures and sharing results of its development with the world, is a stabilizer of global economy and a strong force for development, said the Panamanian official.

The just-concluded first China International Import Expo showcased China’s resolution to open itself wider to the world, and provided a platform for Panamanian products to enter the Chinese market, said Ortega,

Taking the state visit of President Xi as an opportunity, Panama will expand agricultural cooperation with China, so has to have more Panamanian agricultural products reach Chinese consumers.

He believes that President Xi’s upcoming visit will open a new chapter for Panama-China exchanges and cooperation. Panama looks forward to joining hands with China for a better future of both sides. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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