Panamanian Envoy Recognizes 50 Years of Diplomatic Ties with Korea

Aram B. Cisneros Naylor, the Republic of Panama's Ambassador to Korea, speaking in Seoul on Sept. 25, 2012. (Asia Society Korea Center)

SEOUL, September 25, 2012 — H.E. Aram B. Cisneros Naylor, the Republic of Panama’s Ambassador to Korea, commemorated 50 years of diplomatic ties between his country and Korea here at the Asia Society Korean Center's September luncheon, in a lecture entitled "Opportunities for Business and Friendship Between Panama and Korea for the Next 50 Years."

The Ambassador summarized what has been achieved between the two countries, emphasizing that these two countries have very different features: the Panamanian population is mixed with Americans, Spanish, African Americans, and Indians while Korea is a homogeneous country, which can be a strength for Korea. Moreover, whereas Korea has succeeded as an industrial powerhouse, Panama is growing into a service powerhouse.

Despite these differences, however, Panama and Korea have been actively collaborating in economic and industrial areas. For example, Korean companies such as Hyundai Samho supplied both skilled labor and equipment during the development of the Panama Canal and the construction of subway lines in his country.

Cisneros Naylor also proudly stated that Panama has the Colon Free Trade Zone, the second-largest free trade zone in the world. At the same time, the Ambassador acknowledged that Panama remains underdeveloped and has many obstacles to overcome to become a more desirable place for foreign investors, like Singapore and Hong Kong, and firmly believed that friendship between Panama and Korean can be the key for that economic partnership.

The Ambassador also promoted the Knowledge Sharing Program, which pursues active exchange of knowledge in diverse areas such as education, public services, and labor market for the next 50 years. "Korea was poor 20 years ago, but [is] rich now. However, Panama was poor 20 years ago, and still poor. I think what has made this difference is knowledge," said the Ambassador.