2023: A Momentous Year for Vietnam-Panama Relations

The Panamanian Embassy in Vietnam held a commemoration event for Panama's National Day on November 3rd. This year marks the 120th anniversary since Panama gained independence on November 3, 1903.

2023 – A special year for Vietnam – Panama relations

The ceremony was attended by Deputy Foreign Minister Ha Kim Ngoc, Panamanian Ambassador to Vietnam Alberto Salas De Leon, and other Ambassadors, representatives of diplomatic missions, international organizations, and the Panamanian community living in Vietnam.

Speaking at the ceremony, Ambassador Alberto Salas De Leon said that Panama is surrounded by two big oceans. As early as the 16th century, Emperor Charles V commissioned a plan to build a waterway from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

In June 2016, Panama inaugurated the canal expansion project, creating conditions for ships carrying up to 14,000 containers to easily pass through, thanks to which 6% of global trade is currently carried out through the Panama Canal.

The Panama Ship Registry today is one of the leading registries in the world, including 8,500 ships, carrying a total of 250 million tons, annually contributing USD 117 million to the Panamanian State Treasury.

Ambassador Alberto Salas De Leon commented that this year is a particularly good year for Vietnam and Panama relations. The two countries have continued to seek new opportunities to strengthen bilateral cooperation in many fields.

2023 – A special year for Vietnam – Panama relations

With Vietnam as a production center and Panama as a logistics and transportation center, he went on, the two countries will soon be closer to opening a Vietnam Trade Office in Panama. This will be an opportunity to introduce Vietnamese goods to the Latin American market, where there are more than 500 million consumers.

2023 is the year that Vietnam and Panama celebrate the 48th anniversary of diplomatic relations. The Ambassador expressed that Panama will continue to promote cooperation with Vietnam, both bilaterally and multilaterally, to strengthen relations and promote the common goals and interests of the two countries; protecting human rights and an open, fair trading system. These efforts have been demonstrated by actively supporting Vietnam’s election as a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Speaking at the ceremony, Deputy Foreign Minister Ha Kim Ngoc shared that Vietnam is very honored to join the international community in accompanying and supporting the just struggle of the Panamanian people.

Vietnam has been witnessing Panama’s achievements in maintaining rapid and stable growth, in 2021 GDP growth reached an impressive 15.3%, expanding the Canal and firmly consolidating Panama’s position as an important maritime, aviation, financial, and logistics hub in the Western Hemisphere.

2023 – A special year for Vietnam – Panama relations

Cultural and tourism activities also help Vietnamese people know Panama with its rich and unique culture, beautiful nature, and attractive tourist destinations.

According to Deputy Minister Ha Kim Ngoc, after nearly five decades, Vietnam and Panama have constantly strived to develop friendship and multi-faceted cooperation, coordinate and support each other at multilateral forums. Trade and investment relations maintain positive development momentum, with two-way trade turnover in 2021 reaching USD 467 million, doubling compared to 2015. Panama has 9 investment projects in Vietnam with a total of registered capital of over USD 51 million. Several Vietnamese businesses have opened commercial and restaurant tourism establishments in Panama.

The two countries have signed many cooperation documents, creating a favorable legal framework for effectively exploiting the potential of bilateral cooperation, especially in the fields of economics, trade, finance, transportation, agriculture, consular… The results of the visit to Vietnam by Panamanian Foreign Minister Érika Mouynes in April this year have contributed to further deepening bilateral cooperation, opening up prospects for cooperation in several potential fields.

At the ceremony, delegates enjoyed Panamanian traditional dishes such as chicken rice, ribs with sauce, and pineapple upsidedown. They also visited an exhibition of paintings about the landscapes and people of Panama.

Hai Dang