Tuesday, 04 September 2018 11:34

President Varela and Prime Minister Netanyahu strengthen their bilateral agenda

In the framework of the meeting between the president of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela and the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, the signing of a Free Trade Agreement and a Memorandum of Understanding on agricultural matters was celebrated.

The Free Trade Agreement, signed by the Minister of Commerce and Industry, Augusto Arosemena and his counterpart from Israel, Ran Cohen, translates into a strengthened commercial relationship that will reach its maximum potential thanks to this agreement.

This trade agreement is the third Free Trade Agreement that Israel negotiates with a Latin American country, and the first that Panama negotiates with a partner from the Middle East, for which it will provide important business opportunities for Panamanian exporters and businessmen.

Regarding goods, the results of the negotiations with Israel, recognize an immediate preferential access for many traditional agricultural and agro-industrial products of Panama, such as: vinegar, coffee, palm oil, both crude and refined, frozen beef , frozen stripping bovine species, hamburger meat, cassava, flour and fish powder, beer, among others.

For Minister Augusto Arosemena, Israel is a strategic partner very similar in characteristics and size to Panama, but with a great development in technological innovation; what represents "an adequate commercial partner, and that together with the services and logistic platform that Panama offers, can generate an alliance that would allow attracting companies from Israel to use our logistics and services platform and improve the presence in the Latin American market”.

MICI maintained the reserve of our sensitive products in both the agricultural and industrial sectors. Equally, Panamanian professionals were protected, safeguarding the more than 60 professions that are reserved only for Panamanians.

The Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Minister of Agricultural Development, Eduardo Carles and Yuvan Roten, Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel, provides the legal framework for the construction of the first Agricultural Excellence Center of Panama, which will allow it to improve quality and also increase the quantity of Panamanian products with the advice of Israel.

This center will be a pioneer in the region and model for Latin America in horticultural and fruit, technology and research.

The minister Eduardo Carles, informed that it will be located in the province of Los Santos, in a land of 7 hectares, at an approximate cost of B/. 2.5 million.

It is a training center, laboratories with best practices and technologies for farmers and producers throughout the country, which will be administered by the Institute of Agricultural Research (IDIAP).

The Panamanian leader thanked Prime Minister Netanyahu for all the support that Israel has given to Panama in the areas of technology, agriculture, water management, education and security that are the pillars of bilateral ties between both nations.

"I am very impressed by what I have seen so far in Israel, but what impresses me the most is the commitment of the people to build and protect this beautiful country”, he said.

Varela said that Panama will use the Israeli experience to train young people in agricultural technology, innovation and water management.

In terms of health, Varela invited health companies from Israel to participate with their technology, the Preventive Health Census promoted by the Government of the Republic of Panama, together with the Ministry of Health and the Social Security which is aimed to people over 40, to know their health status and provide timely care.

For his part, the Prime Minister of Israel referred to Panama as the world's logistics hub, highlighting the geographical position of the country and the importance of the Panama Canal in the global economy.

In that sense, the Panamanian leader put his connectivity platform at the disposal of Israel to be used as a showcase for the technologies of this country for the rest of Latin America.

Finally, he met with the leader of the Israeli opposition, Itzaak Herzog, where he had the opportunity to learn about the progress of this country from another perspective.

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