India, Panama hold foreign office consultations, review bilateral relations

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New Delhi: India and Panama held the second foreign affairs consultations in Panama City on November 23 and reviewed their bilateral relations, covering areas such as trade and investment, pharmaceuticals, ICT, capacity building, space cooperation and consular issues.

“The 2nd India-Panama FOC was held in Panama City. Led by Eastern Secretary @AmbSaurabhKumar and Deputy Minister Vladimir Franco @CancilleriaPma. Both sides reviewed the progress of relations and discussed areas where cooperation could be further deepened,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in a Twitter post.

The two sides also discussed cooperation in multilateral forums, the foreign ministry said in a press release.

“Secretary (East) called Foreign Minister Janaina Tewaney Mencomo. She stressed the need for the two countries to deepen their cooperation, including in the economic sphere, and expressed the hope that Indian companies will use Panama’s geographical and logistical advantage to do business in the Americas,” the ministry said in the press release.

The two sides agreed to hold the next round of consultations at a mutually agreed date in New Delhi.

“Diplomatic relations between India and Panama were established in 1962. Panama has a Resident Mission in New Delhi and has recently appointed a new Consul General post in Mumbai to provide better and expedited visa issuance facilities to Indian businessmen and tourists,” the ministry said.

It is estimated that there are approximately 15,000 PIO and NRI (mainly Gujaratis and Sindhis) in Panama. The Sindhi community is mainly engaged in wholesale/retail trade and microcredit. The community is financially well established and has contributed to Panamanian society.

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