By Eddie Montes
The Panama government’s international outreach program continues to result in new deals and improved relationships, which are sure to boost the local economy.
The latest agreement comes from the wealthy Middle Eastern country of Qatar, which is expanding its global connections. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Panama Maria Luisa Navaro was in Qatar to discuss cultural connections and, primarily, a new open-air deal.
The new agreement allows the national airlines of Qatar and Panama to operate an unlimited number of flights, including passenger and cargo flights, between the two countries. The deal paves the way for easier connections to Panama for Qatar Airways, which offers flights around the world. Last month Qatar expanded its code-sharing arrangement with Spain’s Iberia to include more destinations in Latin America, including Panama.
“Latin America is a key area of growth for us, and we are delighted to be able to provide access to these new, fast-growing cities for our valued passengers from Qatar, the wider Middle East, South Asia and beyond with seamless connectivity,” Qatar Airways Group chief executive Akbar Al Baker said.
Qatar and Panama also announced a memorandum of understating focused on boosting academic collaboration.
In many ways, Qatar is a natural partner. It is the largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the world, a commodity that has become a major source of traffic for the expanded Panama Canal.
Qatar is also a major investor around the world, investing heavily in real estate in major cities around the world. Qatar is one of the biggest foreign owners of property in London, for example.
Qatar is also scheduled to host the 2022 World Cup. Panama qualified for the upcoming 2018 World Cup for the first time in history, so a 2022 trip to Qatar is very real possibility for Panama football fans.