The Panamanian government announced Saturday it had agreed with the special region of Hong Kong removing the visa requirement for ordinary passport, diplomatic, consular and Panamanian officials from February 10 next.
The measure, agreed by Panama and the Government of the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong is established with the objective of continuing to promote the exchange between Panama and China, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Central American country said in a press release.
"This unprecedented measure will facilitate and encourage tourist and commercial exchange between Panama and this important city that has a strong economy of services, as well as one of the most important ports in its region", the Panamanian chancellery supported in its pronouncement.
The statement also specifies that the holders of valid Panamanian passports are exempt from visa requirement to enter, transit, stay and leave the territory of the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong, for a period not to exceed thirty (30) days.
"According to the established, those interested in extending their stay beyond the agreed period must comply with the procedures established by the respective immigration laws and regulations", clarified in the official information issued this Saturday.
The Panamanian chancellery affirms that this agreement between Panama and Hong Kong will take effect on February 10, 2019.
On the other hand, the Foreign Ministry recalls in the statement that the requirement of stamped visas is maintained for the entry of Panamanians carrying ordinary passports to the Popular Republic of China.
Since June 13, 2017, which established diplomatic ties, Panama and China have signed about thirty agreements in political, tourist, economic and infrastructure matters.
The Asian country is currently the second most important user of the Panama Canal, behind the United States, and the first supplier of the Colon Free Zone.
In 2016, Panama exported goods and services to China worth 50.9 million dollars, 22.9 percent more than the previous year, while imports from the Asian giant totaled 1,183 million dollars, according to the latest official figures.