Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

President Ma meets with Panama's president-elect

President Ma meets with Panama's president-elect

Panama City, June 30 (CNA) Republic of China President Ma Ying-jeou met with Panama's President-elect Ricardo Martinelli Tuesday for a short talk immediately after he arrived in Panama City on a three-day state visit.
Martinelli said he attaches great importance to the friendship that the two countries have maintained and expects that long-lasting bilateral business and trade ties will continue, according to Presidential Office spokesman Wang Yu-chi.
Martinelli hoped Taiwan would share its experience in developing mass rapid transit systems with Panama, which Ma responded was something that Taiwan was more than willing to do.
The Panamanian president-elect also expressed an interest in soliciting more investment from Taiwan's commercial and industrial sectors, and Ma suggested that Panama provide Taiwan with related information to facilitate such initiatives.
On Martinelli's desire for Panama to develop closer commercial exchanges with China, Ma said Taiwan will not oppose its diplomatic allies developing business ties with China as long as they do not compromise formal diplomatic relations, Wang said.
Ma also invited Martinelli and his Cabinet officials to visit Taiwan soon after his inauguration, Wang said.
Ma, his wife Chow Mei-ching and a ROC official delegation is scheduled to attend Martinelli's inauguration slated for July 1.
After leaving Taipei June 29 and making a transit stop in San Francisco, Ma arrived in Panama to a red-carpet welcome extended by the Panamanian government.
Hundreds of Taiwan expatriates crowded outside the Hotel Sheraton in Panama City where Ma and Chow are staying for two nights before continuing on to Nicaragua July 3. The Taiwanese expatriates greeted the president by performing a lion dance and waving Republic of China (Taiwan) and Panama national flags.
Ma, Chow and the rest of the 129-member Taiwan delegation were entertained at a state banquet in the evening hosted by outgoing Panamanian President Martin Torrijos.
Before the banquet, Ma gave interviews to the international news media and met with leaders of Taiwan's expat communities in Panama.
In a speech he delivered at the airport upon his arrival, Ma said Taiwan and Panama have maintained cordial and solid ties over the past century since the two countries established formal diplomatic relations in 1909.
He said bilateral ties became even closer after the two countries signed a free trade agreement in 2004.
Ma lauded the Panamanian people for completing the presidential election May 3 in a democratic and peaceful atmosphere.
"The results and process of the election have brought respect from peoples of other countries to the Panamanian people and established a new example of democratization in the world as well, " Ma said.
Ma closed his address by saying in Spanish, "I'm happy to visit your country for the second time. Panama and Taiwan are true friends." During the tree-day visit, Ma is scheduled to tour the Panama Canal and preside over the opening of a digitalized Mandarin-learning classroom housed in the Taiwan-Panama Culture Center in Panama City.
He is also scheduled to address Panama's new parliament and visit a container port in Colon that was built by Taiwanese conglomerate Evergreen Maritime Corp.
Following his trip to Panama, Ma will travel to Nicaragua where Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega will drive him to the hub of a bilateral technological cooperation project. He will also visit a trade fair at which many Taiwanese companies will be showing their latest products.
Ma and his entourage will make a layover stop in Hawaii on their way home July 6.
His itinerary originally included a two-day visit to Honduras, but Ma decided to cancel his travel plans there after Honduran President Manuel Zeyala was arrested and forced into exile by military leaders Sunday ahead of a controversial constitutional referendum.
(By Huang Kwang-chun and Deborah Kuo)




Updated : 2021-07-31 18:23 GMT+08:00