By Jeff Barton
President Juan Carlos Varela has confirmed that Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit Panama later this year, marking the first official state visit from a Chinese leader.
A visit from the President demonstrates the level of importance China places in the new relationship Panama, which has been developing at a whirlwind pace since the launch of formal relations last June.
Although no dates have been set, President Xi is expected to visit in December, when he is in the region to attend the G20 summit in Argentina. Representatives of the two countries are already talking to arrange details, Varela said during the Business Council of Latin America (CEAL).
“Without a doubt, it will be a very interesting year, and we are expecting the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping in December, which will be held together with the G20 summit,” Varela said.
Varela and Xi have already met when Varela visited China in November. Their meeting in the Great Hall of the People launched a flurry of deals and agreements in trade, tourism, and finance. More than 19 agreements were signed on that trip, ranging from a study of train route from Panama City to David and direct flights to Panama from China.
More than simply talk, these initiatives are moving forward at a rapid rate and Xi’s visit is further evidence that China sees Panama as an important partner in the region. As we’ve discussed in previous articles, the relationship will send ripples through the entire economy, including real estate, given China’s track record of investing in its allies and growing their local presence.
Photo Source: Presidency of Panama.