The Panamanian vice president and chancellor, Isabel de Saint Malo de Alvarado, said today that she seeks closer economic and political ties with Southeast Asia in a tour that has begun in Thailand and will also take her to Singapore and Indonesia.
The vice president told EFE in Bangkok that her objective is to increase agrifood exports to this region, as well as offering Panama as a gateway to the Americas and a transit point for merchandise through its canal between the Pacific and the Atlantic.
Panama proposes itself "not as a small market as we are, but as a market that is the gateway to the Americas, precisely because of that air logistics connectivity we have," said de Saint Malo, who also highlighted the maritime services of her country to boats of the region that carry the Panamanian flag.
The chancellor also said that Thailand's project to build its first deep water port in Laem Chabang (southeast) offers an opportunity to create a sea route connecting it with Panama, while highlighting this country as an example for the promotional tour.
De Saint Malo will also negotiate with the Thai authorities agreements to improve the air connection and make the visa system more flexible.
The vice president will leave tomorrow for Singapore, a country she considers a model for training in new technologies and with which she will sign a memorandum of understanding to increase diplomatic contacts.
Next Thursday, De Santi Malo will travel to Indonesia, where she will address issues related to scientific, cultural and maritime cooperation.
"Indonesia's interest in what the Panama Canal offers is clear," said the vice president, who showed her country's intention to export products such as pineapple or meat.
On Monday and Tuesday of next week, De Saint Malo will participate in the world conference "Our Ocean" on the Indonesian island of Bali, where she hopes to promote the sustainability of the marine ecosystem and good fishing practices, among other issues.
Promoted by the European Commission (EC), the event welcomes political leaders, scientists and ecologists to provide solutions to the environmental problems of the oceans and their conservation.