The Republic of Panama and the People’s Republic of China have signed an agreement on maritime transport, in presence of China’s president Xi Jiping and Panama’s president Juan Carlos Varela, during his first visit to this country after establishing diplomatic relations.
Subscribed by Panama’s Minister of Maritime Affairs Jorge Barakat and Chinese Minister of Transport Li Xiaopeng, the agreement highlights a milestone in the relations of Panamanian and Chinese maritime sectors as it will enhance the cooperation and development in the traffic of commercial vessels between both countries for facilitating cargo and passengers transport.
Minister Barakat who is also the administrator of the Panama Maritime Authority, said that this agreement “will help promoting maritime and ports development of Panama and China, strengthen the Panama Ship Registry and will support the Chinese Maritime Authority in the maritime safety issues of Panama-flagged vessels that sail in its waters.”
“I am convinced that it will mark the commencement of a fruitful cooperation for China and Panama maritime sectors that will benefit from this accord, opening a new era for our Ship
Registry which is granted ‘the Most Favoured Nation’ treatment with regards to access of ports,” Barakat added.
From now on, Panama-flagged vessels will enjoy the advantages and lower port costs applicable to other States which have similar agreements with China. The accord includes transfer of knowledge and technical control of the documentation of ships and crews on board Panamanian vessels.
“We will increase the participation of Chinese seamen aboard Panamanian ships and recognize several maritime training centers from China as part of our international expansions strategy,” said Minister Barakat.
Panama will also be able to register shipping companies and Chinese vessels, directly in the main maritime cities of the People’s Republic of China, including the registration services of naval mortgages and property titles and with full diplomatic relations Panama will be qualified to establish technical offices in China for the control of maritime safety and navigation of its vessels, since Panama is going to open several consulates in China.
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