• .President Peña Nieto presented the Panamanian president with the Order of the Aztec Eagle and received the Manuel Amador Guerrero National Order from the Panamanian government.
  • Mexico is Panama’s third largest trading partner in Latin America and the Caribbean, and its sixth largest worldwide. As a country, we are the eighth largest user of the Panama Canal, which is a major logistic center, the great hub of the Americas, he said.
  • The Reforms driven by President Peña Nieto will last far beyond his mandate and greatly benefit future generations of Mexicans: President of Panama.

Earlier today at the National Palace,  President Enrique Peña Nieto received today his Panamanian counterpart, Juan Carlos Varela Rodríguez, currently on an official visit to our country, to whom he said: “Mexico and Panama are determined to be united in addressing major global challenges”.

 “We are determined to work together; we have a shared vision, we are two consolidated democracies and we are resolved to expand our cooperation and trade links,” he declared.

He added that Panama and Mexico, “Are determined to remain united in favor of regional integration and work as a team in order to overcome any challenges that may arise in the future”.

"Panama and Mexico have a very close relationship, a friendship based on a shared approach to global challenges and how we can really achieve internal strength and make cooperation an instrument to enable us to address the challenges we have in the world,” he said.

In a joint press statement, after the two leaders witnessed the signing of new instruments to strengthen the bilateral legal framework, President Peña Nieto announced that the Mexican government decided to present President Varela with the Order of the Aztec Eagle, the highest honor our country confers on foreigners, “Because of the affinity regarding the global causes we defend”.

The Mexican president also thanked the Panamanian Government of Panama for awarding him the Manuel Amador Guerrero National Order.

After recalling that the relationship between Panama and Mexico dates back over 100 years, President Peña Nieto said that trade flows have increased as a result of the Free Trade Agreement with this Central American country.

“Panama has been a cornerstone of world trade. Suffice it to recall the inter-oceanic canal in Panama, through which 5% of global trade circulates. That shows how important it is, “he added.

He said that, “Mexico is Panama’s third largest trading partner in Latin America and the Caribbean, and its sixth largest worldwide. Mexico is the eighth largest user of the Panama Canal, which undoubtedly makes Panama a key logistics center throughout the Americas region, it is the hub of the Americas”.

He added that there are 100 direct weekly flights between Mexico and Panama.

It is worth noting, he added, “that tourist flows between the two countries has been growing in recent years. The flow of Panamanian tourists to our country has grown by nearly 30 percent in the past three years. The flow of Mexican tourists to Panama has also grown by nearly 20 percent. There is currently a significant presence of Mexican companies in Panama, with an investment of over $2.5 billion USD”.

The Mexican president said that several bilateral cooperation instruments were signed, including the following: First of all, in the area of agricultural cooperation, the National Health, Food Safety and Quality Service will donate equipment to Panama to combat the screwworm. The capacities of Panama and Central America will be strengthened to form a biological barrier to protect livestock in the region”.

He said that both countries also agreed to strengthen consumer protection, by exchanging public policy experiences in this area”.

He said that, "Given the recent increase in migratory flows, we confirm our commitment to addressing the phenomenon from the perspective of responsibility and the protection of migrants’ human rights. We have begun work on migration alerts and security issues  to facilitate the mobility of people between the two countries. Recognizing our strategic position on this issue, Panama and Mexico will work to achieve a Global Pact for Safe, Orderly, Regular  Migration at the United Nations in 2018”.

He reported that the Mexican and Panamanian also agreed to, “Review our customs cooperation, fiscal, civil aviation and safety cooperation mechanisms; we will begin negotiations to reach an agreement on cooperation and mutual assistance in customs issues”.

Afterwards, at the luncheon hosted in honor of the Panamanian president, President Peña Nieto said that the two countries are linked by “strong cultural ties and a close friendship”.

He acknowledged that, “Panama’s valuable contribution to economic development have proved its confidence in free trade and its desire for progress and global development. It has also shown Panamanians’ ability to turn their geography and natural resources into a powerful lever for development and a link between oceans and cultures”.

THE CONNECTIVITY BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES WILL NOT ONLY INVOLVE LOGISTICS BUT ALSO VALUES,  DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLES AND SOLIDARITY IN ANY SITUATION THAT ARISES: PRESIDENT OF PANAMA JUAN CARLOS VARELA

President of Panama Juan Carlos Varela Rodriguez said that, “The great connection that Panama has with its logistic model, is now, through this relationship with President Peña Nieto and the Government of Mexico, becoming not only a logistic link but also one of values and principles to work together for the development of our countries and, especially, to consolidate the social peace of our peoples.

”We are confident that this visit will strengthen relations between our peoples,” he said, stressing that the connectivity between the two countries, “will not only involve logistics but also values, democratic principles and solidarity with any situation that arises”.

”We admire the courage with which you have promoted over 13 reforms, many of which will be adopted at a high cost, yet last far beyond your mandate and greatly benefit future generations of Mexicans,” he said, adding that, “Mexico supported Panama when we recovered our canal, and Panama and Latin America will always support Mexico in any situation that arises”.

The Panamanian president also noted: "We will strengthen relations, trade, the exchange of security measures and tourists,” he said. He stressed that security cooperation will be consolidated as Panama will work closely with Mexico to establish Tactical Inter-Agency Security Coordination Centers in Panama such as the C-5.

He added that, “Public safety is undoubtedly a priority for us and we feel that Panama and Mexico have an important role to play in the fight against organized crime, since both countries are affected by this”.

The Panamanian president said that the instrument signed today on cooperation in immigration and consular issues will make it possible to advance the exchange of information so that citizens with good intentions: whether cultural, economic, educational or social, will be able to travel; “And those traveling with irregular or illegal purposes will be stopped at our borders”.

“This is an example of cooperation and we are the first two countries in Latin America to implement this information exchange system at their airports with other governments to detect any risk posed by travelers,” he said.

He mentioned that, “We have shared with Mexican businessmen the logistic model of Panama, a service economy in the service of America, and with this logistic model, our expanded Canal, ports and airports will enable Mexican companies to expand their presence in Central America, the Caribbean and Latin America”. “We are committed to supporting them in that process,” he added.

Afterwards, at the luncheon hosted by the Mexican president in his honor, President Varela expressed his gratitude for the Aztec Eagle Award, collar grade, he was given today. “I humbly receive it on behalf of the Panamanian people whom I serve; and I will take it to Panama knowing that it represents the honor, bravery and the most cherished traditions of the Mexican nation”.

He added that he presented President Peña Nieto with the highest award conferred by the Panamanian State: the Manuel Amador Guerrero Order, collar grade, “In recognition of his work as head of state and his dedication to the highest interests of the Mexican people. Wear it as a permanent symbol of the friendship and respect between our two peoples and as a permanent gesture of affection towards your person.”