Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Panama Canal does not foresee impact on its activity by diplomacy with China

The Panama Canal does not foresee impact on its activity by diplomacy with China

The Panama Canal does not foresee any change in transit activity after the Government established relations with China

The Panama Canal does not foresee "any change in transit activity" after the Panamanian government established diplomatic relations with China to the detriment of Taiwan, said Jorge Quijano, administrator of the interoceanic route.

"We do not see any changes necessarily in what is the transit activity, because the one that dictates the transit activity is not Panama, what dictates the transit through the Panama Canal is the demand," Quijano told reporters.

The behavior of water transit is more "related to the import that the US wants to have, which is our first user and is supplied in a large majority of China," which is the second customer of the waterway, he said.

"So trade exchange is the one we respond to here (and) we do not see that this (the relations of Panama and China) will bring any change in reality," added Quijano.

The president of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, announced on Monday the establishment of relations with China and the break with Taiwan under the argument, among others, that the Asian giant is the second most important user of the Canal and the first supplier of the Zone Free of Columbus (ZLC), the largest in the hemisphere.

Taiwan immediately expressed its "indignation" over the turn of Panama, which he called "unfair act", as well as his "condemnation and repulse" for what he considers a Chinese attack on his international space, and announced the consequent withdrawal of everything The Taiwanese staff of the Central American country and the suspension of assistance and cooperation programs.

The diplomatic turn made by the Government of Varela has been welcomed in Panama, where private sector expectations point to the achievement of benefits for the country in terms of trade and investment in fields such as technology and logistics.

Quijano stressed Thursday that ACP maintains "excellent relations with all" its customers, including Chinese and Taiwanese shipping companies, and that these have been and will continue to be commercial.

"This is a neutral channel, here pass all the ships of the world is not restricted any, What we do demand is that they comply with all international regulations in addition to the special requirements" of the ACP on security and other fields, he added.

The Panama Canal, which accounts for about 6% of world trade, connects 144 sea routes that reach 1,700 ports in 160 countries.

Photo: La Estrella

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