On November 17, 2017, Panama’s President Juan Carlos Varela met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang during a state visit to China.
The two presidents signed a cooperation agreement under the “Belt and Road” initiative.
Thanks to this agreement, Panama could become one of the main trade hubs between China and America.
The integration of Panama into the new Silk Roads follows the decision taken by this Central American country in June 2017 to establish diplomatic relations with China, and to no longer recognize Taiwan.
By participating in this project, Panama of course hopes to continue to play a key role in world trade through its canal, but also expects new investments in other sectors, in order to diversify its economy.
With this agreement, the Belt and Road initiative is taking on a new dimension and integrating all continents. It will be important for European decision-makers to continue to promote the development of trade across the Eurasian continent, so that Chinese companies do not only favor the Pacific route.
Furthermore, Europe must also take into account the integration of Panama into the “Belt and Road” initiative and develop trade with this country as part of the new Silk Roads.