THE ESTABLISHMENT of trade relations between Panama and China, on June,12 not only has a direct impact on the commercial and investment field of the Isthmus but also incorporates Panama into the Chinese initiatives that will change the world in the coming years.
This was highlighted at a Panama Canal Authority (ACP) forum on container movement by Eddie Tapiero, of the Authority’s the Economic Unit
The ‘One Belt, One Road’ (OBOR), also known as the ‘Silk Road’, -the historic route that Marco Polo traveled, is an economic corridor that crosses from Asia to Europe by land and represents the largest movement of containers along with another sea route that arrives in Africa, and is called the Silk Maritime Route of the XXI Century.
Reopened by China in 2013 with Europe as the final destination, the analyst argues that with Panama in the game, the Channel offers multiple and new opportunities for connectivity.
“Once the construction of the infrastructure planned for these routes (new ports, railways and free zones) is completed, Europe will not only be consumers of the products coming from China but will become a center for the collection and distribution of the commodities. Because of its access to the Atlantic, Panama could take advantage of that trade, but, Panama can also take advantage of the Pacific side, to materialize its entry to the Pacific Alliance,” he said.
The Silk Road and its impact on trade in Asia and Europe should not be left aside, instead should review long-term state strategies, so that economies, both China and Panama, continue to strengthen.
China, says Tapiero sees the need to revive global economic growth because after the mortgage crisis of 2008-09 and sovereign debt in Europe in 2010, “Economic crises limited the growth of developed economies and this was reflected in the growth of the global economy,” he said.
It is a new business model of globalization in the world and Panama should not be alien to it. The US as the main partner of all countries in Latin America needs to be part of the initiative, With all the players working towards the same goal, the countries will achieve a balance in their strength and stability in the long term, “he predicted.
“For Panama, the establishment of relations with China arrives just in time. This action offers China greater legal certainty for its investment and allows Panama to form an integral part of the OBOR-silk route, ”