The Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela held a meeting with the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu. In the framework of the meeting, the signing of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was made by the Trade and Industry holders of both nations.
According to the Secretary of State Communication through a press release, "In terms of goods, the results of the negotiations with Israel, recognize an immediate preferential access for many traditional Panamanian agricultural and agro industrial products, such as: vinegar, coffee, both crude and refined palm oil, frozen beef, dispossession of the frozen bovine species, hamburger meat, cassava, fish flour and powder, beer, among others".
The Minister of Trade and Industry of Panama, Augusto Arosemena, expressed that Israel is "an adequate commercial partner, and that together with the services and logistic platform that Panama offers, it can generate an alliance that would attract companies from Israel to use our logistics and services platform and improve its presence in the Latin American market."
This is the third FTA that Israel signs with a Latin American country and is the first Panama signs with a Middle Eastern nation.
A Memorandum of Understanding was also signed for the agricultural sector, which "provides the legal framework for the construction of the first Agricultural Center of Excellence in Panama, which will allow quality to be improved and also increase the quantity of Panamanian products with Israeli advice," according to the press release.
During his visit to Israel, President Juan Carlos Varela also held an encounter with the country's head of state, Reuven Rivlin, as well as the opposition leader, Itzaak Herzog.
Varela also held a meeting with a group of Israeli investors in the city of Tel Aviv. Through his twitter account he said: "Our country is already consolidating itself as the commercial arm of Asia for Latin America. I believe in the potential of Panama and in the important role that we will play as a window to make Israel's technology and products known to the entire region."