World 30-10-2018

Presidents of Cuba and Panama advocate expanding cooperation and bilateral trade

The presidents of Cuba and Panama, Miguel Diaz-Canel and Juan Carlos Varela, respectively, pleaded on Monday to increase mutual cooperation in areas such as trade and bilateral foreign investment.

The Cuban head of state received Varela in the Palace of the Revolution with military honors and later both leaders held private talks where they reviewed the collaboration in different spheres.

According to an official note from the Cuban government, both statesmen discussed the good state of relations between the two countries and addressed other issues on the regional and international agenda.

"Diaz-Canel thanked Panama for its support for the Cuban resolution presented each year in the General Assembly of the United Nations against the economic blockade imposed by the United States," the statement said.

Likewise, he indicated, Cuba and Panama maintain historical political-diplomatic relations and have developed a positive bilateral dialogue based on friendship and cooperation.

Previously, the Central American dignitary paid tribute to the national hero of Cuba, José Martí, with a floral offering in the capital Plaza de la Revolución.

Varela arrived in the afternoon at the international airport of Havana, where he was received by the vice minister of Foreign Affairs, Rogelio Sierra.

During his stay on the island, which will last until next Wednesday, Varela will open his country's pavilion at the International Fair of Havana (FIHAV), the largest commercial exchange in the Caribbean nation that seeks to boost trade and commerce every year. foreign investment.

On this occasion some 23 Panamanian companies are represented in FIHAV 2018, as well as the Colon Free Zone and other companies anchored in that free zone.

Also, the head of state will witness the signing of an agreement between the chambers of commerce of the two countries and will visit the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, where Cuba develops novel drugs for the treatment of multiple diseases.

Varela's visit comes a week after his government announced the implementation of a tourism card that will allow Cubans who are licensed as private workers or artisans to travel to Panama to make purchases with a single 30-day stay permit.

In recent years, Havana and Panama City have signed agreements in areas such as trade, migration, economic cooperation, tourism, culture and sports.


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