Today the Panamanian Government appointed Elba Him, General Consul of Singapore, an engineer with extensive experience in the maritime industry and who will focus on the growth of the ships registered under the Panamanian flag, considered the largest in the world.
The Panamanian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Him, who has worked for years as an official in the Panamanian Maritime Authority (AMP), would be in charge of protecting the Panamanian interests in the Asian country and promoting its logistics platform.
"The Panamanian Republic develops a strategy focused on achieving the growth of the Panamanian maritime registry business that, in the short term, has been based on the incursion into profitable and non-traditional emerging markets. Panama (Segumar) in a dozen countries, including Singapore," the ministry said.
Until now, Ambassador Alfredo Spiegel, who is also the maximum diplomatic representation of Panama in New Zealand, carried out the work of consul.
The Panamanian merchant marine brought together 18 percent of the world fleet in 2016 and registered a total of 8,094 vessels and 226.6 million tons, according to data from the AMP.
In addition to having the largest merchant marine, Panama is also one of the most important logistics platforms in the world, thanks to the interoceanic canal, which links more than 140 sea routes and 1,700 ports in 160 different countries and through which about 6 percent of world trade passes.
The appointment of Him as General Consul in Singapore is part of the so-called "Política Halcón", a foreign policy strategy that seeks to bring Panama to countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, which traditionally had no strong ties, added the Chancellery.
The Panamanian Vice President and Foreign Minister, Isabel de Saint Malo, is on an official trip in Southeast Asia as part of a tour of Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia this week.