SA, Panama to strengthen ties

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Pretoria - Bilateral relations between South Africa and Panama are expected to be strengthened when the Panama Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Francisco Alvarez de Soto, visits the country this week.

Alvarez de Soto will visit South Africa from Monday, at the invitation of Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Marius Fransman.

According to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, the visit will focus on the strengthening of political and economic relations between the two countries.

"The visit promises to provide impetus to South Africa's already solid bilateral and multilateral relations with Panama, a prominent maritime country and a hub for trade with strong economic growth.

"The Panama Canal is one of the world's most important and strategic maritime passages, benefitting global freight circulation and economic activities in Latin America and the Caribbean," said the department.

It added that this will be the first high-level bilateral visit from Panama to South Africa since full diplomatic relations were established on 10 January 1995.

The Government of Panama opened an Embassy in Pretoria in August 2000. South Africa is non-residentially represented in Panama from Lima, Peru, with an Honorary Consulate in Panama.

During his visit, Deputy Minister Alvarez de Soto will also meet with the Deputy Ministers of Finance; Trade and Industry; Science and Technology; Public Enterprises; Home Affairs and the South African Police Services.