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President of Panama receives Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed

posted on 08/10/2009: 1082 views

Panama - President of the Republic of Panama, Ricardo Martinelli, received at the Presidential Palace here yesterday UAE Foreign Minister, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and his entourage, which include Minister of State, Reem Al-Hashimi, Foreign Minister's Assistant for Economic Affairs, Khalid al-Ghaith, Dubai World Board Chairman and DP World Chairman, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem and other officials.

During the meeting which was held in the presence of Panamanian Foreign Minister, Samuel Lewis Navarro and Panamanian Energy Minister, Juan Ariola, President Martinelli warmly welcomed Sheikh Abdullah and his entourage and expressed the hope that the visit would boost the relations of friendship and cooperation between the two countries.

He said bilateral relations between the UAE and Panama need to be developed through the building of new bridges of cooperation in various areas, particularly in the areas of economy, tourism, culture and trade, the exchange of visits between officials from the two countries, and by encouraging the private sector and businessmen of the two countries to enter into joint venture for their mutual benefit and the mutual interest of the two countries.

The Panamanian president highlighted his country's most significant future projects, including the expansion of the Panama Canal, which is expected to cost US$5.250 billion and to be completed in a ten years time frame. He said the project will create about 9000 jobs for the people of Panama. He invited Emirati investors to invest in his country's banking sector.

He praised the UAE for achieving great development in all areas.

Sheikh Abdullah, for his part, said his visit to Panama was part of the UAE's policy of keep in close contact with friendly countries to strengthen relations of cooperation and friendship with them.

"The UAE market is now very strong and vibrant because we have embraced and continue to encourage foreign investment through our country's adoption of free market economy, in addition to our foreign investment-friendly legislations, political stability, security, freedom of movement inside the country and abroad," he said.

"We have overcome the financial crisis and have achieved complete economic recovery," he added.

He thanked the Panamanian government for its support for the UAE which enabled the latter to win the bid to host the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). He presented an invitation to Panamanian government to participate in the IRENA Preparation meeting, scheduled to be held in Abu Dhabi in January 2009.

Sheikh Abdullah also urged UAE private sector to get to know the investment and joint venture opportunities in Panama, particularly in the areas of energy, tourism, construction, petroleum and electricity and to tap those opportunities for the mutual benefit of the two sides.

Meanwhile, Sheikh Abdullah and his entourage have visited the Panama Canal to have first hand information about the canal which linked the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean. About 120,000 ships cross annually the 80-kilometre canal, which was built at a cost of US$380 million and opened in 1914. - Emirates News Agency, WAM


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