- Press Releases
2nd ROK-Panama Policy Consultation Takes Place
1. Mr. Jo Yungjoon, Director-General for Latin American and Caribbean Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with Mr. José Ulises Lescure, Director-General of Foreign Policy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Panama, held the 2nd Republic of Korea (ROK)-Panama Policy Consultation in Panama City on the morning of January 22, local time. The two sides extensively discussed the ROK-Panama relations, substantive cooperation in such areas as trade, infrastructure and maritime transport, cooperation on the international stage, and the situations on the Korean Peninsula as well as in Latin America and the Caribbean.
2. The two sides noted with appreciation that since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1962, the two countries have shared such universal values as democracy, market economy and human rights and have developed friendly and cooperative relations in various areas. They agreed to further expand mutually beneficial partnership by diversifying cooperative structures based on their long-standing cooperative relationship.
3. Director-General Jo mentioned that the ROK-Central America FTA, signed on February 21, 2018, will contribute to the economic and social development of the two countries by not only boosting bilateral trade and investment but also promoting cooperation across the board and improving the quality of people’s lives. On that note, he asked the Panamanian side to complete its domestic ratification procedure as soon as possible.
4. Director-General Jo took note of the recently completed construction of a combined cycle power plant and a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Colon, in which Korean enterprises had participated as well as Korean companies recently having landed the project to build metro line 3 in Panama. He asked for the Panamanian government’s attention and support to ensure that Korean enterprises, which have advanced technology and abundant construction experiences, expand their presence in major energy and infrastructure projects to be pursued by the Panamanian government.
5. The two sides took note of the growing cooperation on maritime transport and logistics between the ROK, the sixth-biggest user of the Panama Canal, and Panama, a hub of maritime transport and logistics in Latin America and the Caribbean; and agreed to further step up cooperation in the fields on the basis of the “memorandum of understanding for cooperation on maritime transport and logistics,” which had been concluded in November 2019.
6. Director-General Lescure suggested renewing the “Agreement on Scientific and Technical Cooperation” and expressed hope that the scope of bilateral cooperation will be broadened to include air services, energy, tourism, sports and finance.
° Director-General Lescure, calling the ROK a country that has achieved a successful transition from fossil fuels to clean energy, asked for the ROK’s cooperation in such areas as responding to climate change and sustainable development goals (SDGs).
7. Director-General Jo explained the recent developments on the Korean Peninsula and extended appreciation to the Panamanian government for its consistent support for the ROK government’s efforts toward complete denuclearization and the establishment of permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula.
Policy Consultation, which was held about 7 years after the 1st
meeting in 2013, is seen to have served as an opportunity to review the overall
bilateral relations and to explore ways to increase future-oriented substantive
cooperation with the new Panamanian government across the board through the
diversification of cooperative structures.