In the News from Panama

Varela Makes ‘Historic’ Trip to U.K.

Imagen Cortesia: @PresidenciaPma

By Duncan McGowan

Pres. Juan Carlos Varela flew to the United Kingdom this weekend to meet Prime Minister Theresa May and promote U.K. investment in Panama.

This was the first time a Panama president has met with the Prime Minister, according to coverage in El Capital Financiero. In a statement before the meeting, the official visit was described “as historic and unprecedented.”

For Panama and the investment community, it also represents more evidence that Panama is still relatively young in the international financial industry. New relationships are forming that will continue to drive the economy and attract buyers and renters into the real estate sector.

The new U.K. discussions are only the latest in a long series of recent international outreach efforts, led by the historic new relationship with China, which will transform Panama. In recent weeks the government has also been in talks with representatives of the U.A.E. and India, as Panama expands its international presence.

During his time in the U.K., Varela is scheduled to meet with a variety of high-profile business, including the leaders of British Airways. Varela was also scheduled to participate in a forum at the London School of Economics entitled, “Transparency: the most important pillar in a functional democracy.”

The visit will also include a “Panama Fest, an event that brings together the main tourism operators, travel agencies, hoteliers and investors from the United Kingdom and will deploy the Panamanian tourist offer to the English and European markets,” El Capital Financiero reports.

After the U.K., Varela is scheduled to fly to Israel for meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and business leaders. The delegation includes vice president and chancellor Isabel de Saint Malo de Alvarado, the Minister of Economy and Finance Dulcidio De La Guardia and the Minister of Commerce and Industries Augusto Arosemena.

“This official visit is part of the diversification strategy of Panamanian foreign policy, which was announced by President Varela and that is focused on the approach and strengthening of relations with the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Australia and Africa,” government spokesman Luis Miguel Hincapié told reporters.