Foreign Minister Kishida Meets with the Economy and Finance Minister of Panama
On March 30, Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs, held a meeting with H.E. Mr. Dulcidio De La Guardia, Minister of Economy and Finance of the Republic of Panama, during his working visit to Japan. The overview of the meeting is as follows.
1. Minister Kishida welcomed Minister De La Guardia’s visit to Japan in the Japan-SICA Friendship Year, and stated that Panama is achieving steady growth as the hub of the region, and that during his first trip to the country as Minister of Foreign Affairs in May 2013, he observed at first hand the effort being undertaken by Panama to improve its business environment, and that he expected it to even further strengthen its business environment in the future. Minister Kishida also stated that he looked forward to Panama’s positive participation in the Japan-SICA Business Forum that will be held in Guatemala in May.
2. Minister De La Guardia stated that Japan was one of the main users of the Panama Canal and was an extremely important partner both for Latin America and for Panama, and that he wanted to once again express his gratitude for Minister Kishida's visit to Panama, and that this visit had been a historic event for the two countries. Minister De La Guardia also expressed his gratitude for Japan’s major contributions to the development of Panama through its cooperation in various projects up to the present time, including the Bay of Panama Sanitization Project and the Panama Canal Extension Project.
3. With regard to the “Panama City Urban Transportation Line-3 Project,” both sides confirmed that the two Governments are positively considering the possibility of utilizing a Japanese ODA Loan for the Line-3 Project with a monorail system. Both sides shared the view to accelerate the consideration in detail, including on concrete financial structure of the Project, by the two Governments in order to reach a final conclusion as early as possible. Minister De La Guardia expressed Panama’s strong interest in utilizing Japanese technology for the Line-3 Project, and Minister Kishida welcomed it.
With regard to the 4th bridge to be built over the Panama Canal for the Line-3 Project, Minister De La Guardia expressed his appreciation for JICA’s feasibility study and other cooperation provided by the Government of Japan upon the request of the Government of Panama in May 2013, and conveyed Panama’s decision to organize an international public tender under Panamanian Law for the construction of the said bridge, and to seek funding from sources other than Japanese ODA Loan in compliance with fiscal discipline required by its Social and Fiscal Responsibility Law. Minister Kishida responded that the Government of Japan respects the decision made by the Government of Panama.