(Yicai Global) Dec. 11 -- China and Panama signed a cooperation agreement on several railway projects in Panama and decided to step up implementation of China-Panama economic and technological cooperation agreements, said the ministry of commerce on its website on Dec. 9.
Both sides signed the agreement during China's minister of commerce Zhong Shan's visit to Panama Dec. 7- 8. The cooperation agreement comes nearly one month after Panama's President Juan Carlos Varela's first visit to China, when both parties signed a series of significant collaboration documents.
Both sides should actively integrate the Belt and Road Initiative into Panama's development planning, conduct feasibility work for a China-Panama free trade agreement, set up the first China-Panama mixed economic and trade committee as soon as possible, and actively cooperate in establishing economic and trade parks, said China's minister of commerce Zhong.
China will also encourage more Chinese enterprises to invest in Panama and engage in the latter's infrastructure construction, Zhang said, adding Beijing is in favor of increased Panamanian exports to China and invites Panama to the 1st China International Import Expo to be held in Shanghai in November 2018.
Panama is willing to further develop its cooperation with China in trade, investment, infrastructure, economic and trade parks, and human resources, and will attend the next year's import expo in Shanghai, Panama president Varela responded. Panama will also actively engage in the Belt and Road Initiative by taking advantage of its geographical position and will help cement economic ties between China and Latin America.