Panama seeks to expand economic ties with Qatar via PPP projects; Envoy

By Shilpa Annie Joseph, Official Reporter
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Mr. Musa Asvat, Ambassador of the Republic of Panama in Qatar, has stated that the transcontinental country is looking to strengthen its trade and economic relations with the Arab nation by pursuing public-private partnership (PPP) projects in agriculture, such as the development of hydroponic farms and cattle raising.

Despite its geography and distance from Qatar, Panama is “well-structured” and can export high-quality products from a variety of sectors, including agriculture, according to Mr. Asvat, who added that Panamanian exporters have a “potential market opportunity” to extend their footprint in the country.

Musa Asvat
Musa Asvat
Panamanian Ambassador

“We can offer this opportunity for Qatar to establish food supply chains in Panama; our country is open to provide concessions to companies from Qatar that are interested in investing in the farming industry. We have excellent weather conditions and fertile lands for different types of crops, as well as for cattle growing. Panama, as a tropical country, can grow almost anything, so we are extending this investment opportunity for any interested company from Qatar that has plans in the fields of hydroponics or hydroponic farms, as well as direct agricultural projects for concession with the Panamanian government.”

Apart from the agriculture industry, Mr. Asvat believes Qatar and Panama could benefit from knowledge-sharing in different areas of expertise, citing Middle East country’s world-class free port zones and advanced logistics and seaport facilities.

Mr. Asvat said, “We are trying to connect Panama’s Colon Free Trade Zone, which is a distribution center for merchandise to Latin American countries, with Qatar. We aim to connect the expertise of the organization with Qatar Free Zone Authority (QFZA), so we could interact and learn from each other.”

“We plan to talk to the manager of the Colon Free Trade Zone in Panama and schedule a meeting with QFZA, so they can engage, and to have people coming here to show how we manage our free trade zone. We also wish to connect Panama Ports Authority with Hamad Port. This could be a great achievement for both countries,” he further added.

Related: Turkish companies explore ways to increase exports to Qatar; TIM official