Promising Features of the China - Panama Alliance

Flights between the Asian country and Tocumen, a feasibility study to build a train to the border with Costa Rica and cooperation in financial, energy and maritime matters, are some of the results on offer from the agreements signed between the Chinese and Panamanian governments.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Since the breakdown of Panama's diplomatic relations with Taiwan and the new relationship with the Asian giant was announced in June of this year, the possibilities of creating and developing new business in Panama have multiplied, due to the implications that greater involvement in terms of investment by China would have for the country and the region. 

See: "Goodbye Taiwan, Hello China"

The 19 agreements signed between the Varela administration and the Xi Jinping government cover practically all economic sectors, from financial cooperation through the banks Exim Bank and Bank of China for energy development in Panama, to sanitary and phytosanitary measures, development of economic and commercial zones, and the inclusion of Panama as an approved tourist destination.

Although Panama is not the first country in the region to reestablish diplomatic relations with China, it is the only country that has the necessary logistical and commercial conditions to become an ideal platform for Chinese investments. 

From a statement issued by the Presidency of Panama:

The relationship between the Republic of Panama and the People's Republic of China has taken on a new dynamism after a historic meeting between its leaders, Juan Carlos Varela Rodríguez and Xi Jinping, the first after the establishment of diplomatic relations, and in which they committed to continue strengthening their ties in search of the welfare of their populations.

The governors witnessed the adoption of some 20 documents, including 19 agreements and a Joint Declaration, which lay the foundations for this new stage and pose a new diplomatic, economic, commercial and tourism panorama for Panama.

Real full release (in Spanish).

More on this topic

More Agreements Between Panama and China

December 2018

Varela administration signed 19 agreements with the Asiatic giant, including the meat, sea and fruit exports from Panama, and technological cooperation mechanisms.

In addition to the Free Trade Agreement between the two nations, the fourth round of negotiations took place weeks ago, and within the framework of the visit of Chinese President Xin Jinping to Panama, bilateral agreements on tourism, trade and agriculture were signed.

China's plans in Central America

October 2018

The FTA with Panama and the agreement with El Salvador, both in the negotiation stage, are part of the commercial opportunities that the Asian nation seeks to consolidate in the region in the short-term.

The third round of negotiations to conclude the trade agreement between the Central American country and the Asian nation began in Panama City.

Agreements on Transport between Panama and China

February 2018

The approved agreements in maritime and air transport provide the basis for establishing direct air routes and will allow vessels flying the Panamanian flag to receive preferential treatment in Chinese ports.

Panamanian authorities ratified the transport agreements with the Asian country, which includes the civil air transport agreement, through which both countries laid the foundations to establish direct routes, opening space to establish commercial or cargo flights between both countries.

Goodbye Taiwan, Hello China

June 2017

Panama's decision to establish diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China is a promising step towards turning the country into a gateway for investments by the Asian giant in the region.


Although Panama is not the first country to break diplomatic relations with Taiwan in order to establish them with China, with Costa Rica having done so in 2007, it is the only country in the region that has the necessary logistical and commercial conditions to become an ideal platform for Chinese investments.

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